Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In
Santa Monica College|Student Services|Emergency Preparedness|Terrorist Incident

Terrorist Incident

There is usually little or no warning for a terrorist incident. An individual must use his/her own discretion during a terrorist incident as to how to respond.  However, best practices for a terrorist incident are listed below:

At all times:
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Note suspicious items, packages, or vehicles that seem out of place and report them to the appropriate authorities.
  • Note suspicious activities or behaviors and report them to the appropriate authorities.
Potential targets recognized by the U.S. Government: 
  • Airports, seaports, and harbors
  • Major cities or landmarks
  • Large crowds
  • Infrastructure such as power plants, transportation centers, or communication centers
  • Business and industrial centers such as Wall Street or a World Trade Center
Types of terrorist attacks
  • Explosive devices cause detonations which throw debris into the air and start fires.  Explosive devices can be left in place and detonated remotely or carried by a vehicle or even an individual.  Explosive devices are used in most terrorist attacks.
  • Biological agents such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins typically make people sick.
  • Chemical agents are toxic to people, plants, or animals, and are found in the form of solids, liquids, vapors, or aerosols.
  • Radioactive attacks include nuclear explosions and “dirty bombs.”  A “dirty bomb” is designed to spread radioactive material over a region. 
Protective measures to implement following a terrorist incident:
  • Distance yourself from the location of the incident and seek shelter as soon as possible. 
  • Follow instructions from College Police or public agency personnel.
  • If exposed to a chemical agent or if you have trouble breathing, use your clothing as a simple filter by covering your face and breathing through your clothing. 
  • If exposed to a chemical, biological, or radioactive agent, change out of any contaminated clothing, shower, put on clean clothing, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.   
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible for any injuries, if you have trouble breathing, or believe you were exposed to a contaminating agent.