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Homeland Security Response Guide
Recommended Emergency Action for
Individuals and Families



Definition:  A terrorist attack has occurred or credible or corroborated intelligence indicates that one is imminent.  Normally, this threat condition is declared for specific location or critical facility.

  • Expect delays, searches of bags and traffic. 
  • Expect restrictions and restricted access to public buildings.
  • Monitor the news and the Emergency Alert System radio/TV stations. 
  • Avoid passing unsubstantiated information and rumors.
  • Contact business to determine status of work day.
  • Avoid crowded public areas and gathering. 
  • Do not travel in areas affected by the attack or is an expected terrorist target.
  • Keep emergency supplies accessible. 
  • Be prepared to evacuate your home o shelter in place on order of local authorities.


Definition:  Credible intelligence indicates that there is a high risk of a local terrorist attack but a specific target has not been identified.

  • Continue normal activities but expect delays, baggage searches and restrictions as a result of heightened security at public facilities.
  • Avoid leaving luggage unattended; avoid and report unattended luggage.
  • Exercise caution when traveling.
  • Continue to monitor local events, as well as, local government threat advisories.
  • Avoid leaving unattended packages or brief cases in public areas.
  • Inventory emergency supply kits and discuss emergency plans with family.  Reevaluate meeting location based on threat.  Maintain close contact with your family and neighbors to ensure their safety and emotional welfare.
  • Report suspicious persons taking photographs of critical facilities, asking detailed questions about physical security or dressed inappropriately for weather conditions (such as a suicide bomber).   Report these activities immediately to local law enforcement by call 9-1-1


Definition:  Elevated risk of terrorist attack but a specific region of the United States or target has not been identified.

  • Continue normal activities, but report suspicious activities to the local law enforcement agencies.
  • Take a first aid or Community Emergency Response Team class.
  • Network with your family, neighbors and community for mutual support during a terrorist attack.
  • Check telephone numbers and e-mail addresses in your personal communication plan and update as necessary.


 Definition:  General risk with no credible threats to specific targets.


  • Continue normal activities but be watchful for suspicious activities.  Report criminal activity to local law enforcement.
  • Increase family emergency preparedness by purchasing supplies, food and storing water, review family emergency plans.
  • Develop emergency communication plan with family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Monitor local and national news for terrorist alerts.
  • Update immunizations.


Definition:  Low risk of terrorism.  Routine security is implemented to preclude routine criminal threats.

  • Obtain a copy of the Family Emergency Preparedness Guide from the Ohio Department of Public Safety or from your local fire department/local law enforcement agency.
  • Access the Department of Homeland Security's www.ready.gov web site for information on developing a disaster supplies kit and emergency communications plan with family/friends/neighbors.
  • Contact the Ohio Citizen Corps Council to explore volunteer opportunities in your community.
  • Be prepared for disasters and family emergencies.
  • Support the efforts for your local first responders (fire fighters, law enforcement, and emergency medical services).
  • Know what natural hazards are prevalent in your area and what measures you can take to protect your family.
  • Have first aid kits stocked.



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