Grant County Hazard
A biological attack is the deliberate release of
germs or other biological substances that can
make you sick. Many agents must be inhaled,
enter through a cut in the skin or be eaten to
make you sick. Some biological agents, such as
anthrax, do not cause contagious diseases.
Others, like the smallpox virus, can result in
diseases you can catch from other people.
If there is a Biological Threat
Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or
may not be immediately obvious. While it is
possible that you will see signs of a biological
attack, as was sometimes the case with the
anthrax mailings, it is perhaps more likely that
local health care workers will report a pattern
of unusual illness or there will be a wave of
sick people seeking emergency medical attention.
You will probably learn of the danger through an
emergency radio or TV broadcast, or some other
signal used in your community. You might get a
telephone call or emergency response workers may
come to your door.
In the event of a biological attack, public
health officials may not immediately be able to
provide information on what you should do. It
will take time to determine exactly what the
illness is, how it should be treated, and who is
in danger. However, you should watch TV, listen
to the radio, or check the Internet for official
news including the following:
Are you in the group or area authorities
consider in danger?
What are the signs and symptoms of the
Are medications or vaccines being
Where? Who should get them?
Where should you seek emergency medical care
if you become sick?
During a declared biological emergency:
If a family member becomes sick, it is
important to be suspicious.
Do not assume, however, that you should go
to a hospital emergency room or that any
illness is the result of the biological
attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses
Use common sense, practice good hygiene and
cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and
seek medical advice.
Consider if you are in the group or area
authorities believe to be in danger.
If your symptoms match those described and
you are in the group considered at risk,
immediately seek emergency medical
If you are potentially exposed:
Follow instructions of doctors and other
public health officials.
If the disease is contagious expect to
receive medical evaluation and treatment.
You may be advised to stay away from others
or even deliberately quarantined.
For non-contagious diseases, expect to
receive medical evaluation and treatment.
If you become aware of an unusual and suspicious
Quickly get away.
Protect yourself. Cover your mouth and nose
with layers of fabric that can filter the
air but still allow breathing. Examples
include two to three layers of cotton such
as a t-shirt, handkerchief or towel.
Otherwise, several layers of tissue or paper
towels may help.
Wash with soap and water.
Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the
Internet for official news and information
including what the signs and symptoms of the
disease are, if medications or vaccinations
are being distributed and where you should
seek medical attention if you become sick.
If you become sick seek emergency medical
A chemical attack is the
deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid or
solid that can poison people and the
Possible Signs of Chemical
Many people suffering from
watery eyes, twitching, choking, having
trouble breathing or losing coordination.
Many sick or dead birds, fish
or small animals are also cause for
If You See Signs of Chemical
Find Clean Air Quickly
Quickly try to define the
impacted area or where the chemical is
coming from, if possible.
Take immediate action to get
If the chemical is inside a
building where you are, get out of the
building without passing through the
contaminated area, if possible.
If you can't get out of the
building or find clean air without passing
through the area where you see signs of a
chemical attack, it may be better to move as
far away as possible and shelter-in-place..
If you are outside, quickly
decide what is the fastest way to find clean
air. Consider if you can get out of the area
or if you should go inside the closest
building and "shelter-in-place."
If You Think You Have Been
Exposed to a Chemical
If your eyes are watering,
your skin is stinging, and you are having
trouble breathing, you may have been exposed
to a chemical.
If you think you may have been
exposed to a chemical, strip immediately and
Look for a hose, fountain, or
any source of water, and wash with soap if
possible, being sure not to scrub the
chemical into your skin.
Seek emergency medical
If There is an Explosion:
Take shelter against your
desk or a sturdy table.
Exit the building ASAP.
Do not use elevators.
Check for fire and other
Take your emergency supply
kit if time allows.
If There is a Fire:
Exit the building ASAP.
Crawl low if there is smoke
Use a wet cloth, if possible,
to cover your nose and mouth.
Use the back of your hand to
feel the upper, lower, and middle parts of
If the door is not hot, brace
yourself against it and open slowly.
If the door is hot, do not
open it. Look for another way out.
Do not use elevators
If you catch fire, do not
run. Stop-drop-and-roll to put out the
If you are at home, go to a
previously designated meeting place.
Account for your family
members and carefully supervise small
Never go back into a burning
If You Are Trapped in Debris:
If possible, use a flashlight
to signal your location to rescuers.
Avoid unnecessary movement so
that you don't kick up dust.
Cover your nose and mouth
with anything you have on hand. (Dense-weave
cotton material can act as a good filter.
Try to breathe through the material.)
Tap on a pipe or wall so that
rescuers can hear where you are.
If possible, use a whistle to
Shout only as a last resort.
Shouting can cause a person to inhale
dangerous amounts of dust.
A nuclear blast is an explosion
with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure
wave and widespread radioactive material that
can contaminate the air, water and ground
surfaces for miles around. During a nuclear
incident, it is important to avoid radioactive
material, if possible. While experts may predict
at this time that a nuclear attack is less
likely than other types, terrorism by its nature
If there is advanced warning of
If there is no warning:
Quickly assess the situation.
Consider if you can get out
of the area or if it would be better to go
inside a building to limit the amount of
radioactive material you are exposed to.
If you take shelter go as far
below ground as possible, close windows and
doors, turn off air conditioners, heaters or
other ventilation systems. Stay where you
are, watch TV, listen to the radio, or check
the Internet for official news as it becomes
To limit the amount of
radiation you are exposed to, think about
shielding, distance and time.
Shielding: If you
have a thick shield between yourself and
the radioactive materials more of the
radiation will be absorbed, and you will
be exposed to less.
farther away you are away from the blast
and the fallout the lower your exposure.
time spent exposed will also reduce your
Use available information to
assess the situation. If there is a
significant radiation threat, health care
authorities may or may not advise you to
take potassium iodide. Potassium iodide is
the same stuff added to your table salt to
make it iodized. It may or may not protect
your thyroid gland, which is particularly
vulnerable, from radioactive iodine
exposure. Plan to speak with your health
care provider in advance about what makes
sense for your family.
-Info from http://www.Ready.gov
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