Terrorism is a broad term that describes the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to create fear among the public and try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism. The effects of terrorism can include a significant number of casualties, structural damage to buildings and disruption of basic services such as electricity, water, public transportation, communications and health care.

Preparing for a Terrorist Incident
You can prepare to deal with a terrorist incident by adapting many of the same techniques used to prepare for other crises:
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings. The very nature of terrorism suggests that there may be little or no warning.
  • Take precautions when traveling. Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers. Do not leave luggage unattended.
  • Learn where emergency exits are located. Think ahead about how to evacuate a building, subway or congested public area in a hurry.