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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Roork prepares for terror attack

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Fulton County Emergency Coordinator Albert Roork said he doesn't think terrorists would launch an attack directed at Salem, but the possibility exists the city could be selected as a safe haven for terrorists.

Roork is also the Salem Police Chief.

Roork attended an Anti-Terror-ism Task Force class Feb. 4 in Jonesboro.

The police chief said, "Authorities do not think the Ozarks is a prime target for a terroristic act but there are no assurances."

Roork said communities need to be aware of what appears out of the ordinary. The chief said citizens need to be on the alert for new neighbors and to observe neighbors to see if they work and find out as much information as possible. He said residents should contact authorities if anything looks suspicious.

He said authorities have been alerted to watch for suspicious activity around power substations and public water systems.

Law enforcement agencies across the state have received bulletins from the FBI Counterterrorism Division regarding the Homeland Security alert. The Homeland Security Advisory System threat level was raised to high from elevated. The communication provides guidance to state and local law enforcement officials for developing protective measures based on heightened threat condition.

Part I of the bulletin advised law enforcement agencies to take additional precautions at public events and to review plans to restrict access to facilities.

Part II of the bulletin encourages enhanced security at critical facilities, to increase vehicle, foot and roving security patrols, to implement random security guard shift changes, and to increase visibility in and around perimeters by increasing perimeter lighting and removing or maintaining vegetation.

The report suggested authorities review contingency plans and develop procedures for receiving and acting on threat information, alert notification procedures, terrorist incident response procedures, evacuation procedures, shelter in place procedures, bomb threat procedures, hostage and barricade procedures, chemical biological, radiological and nuclear procedures.

Part III of the bulletin discussed potential threats involving weapons of mass destruction and emergency actions. Unusual, suspicious packages or containers, especially those found in unlikely or sensitive locations such as around an air intake system or enclosed spaces; unusual powders or liquids found near air intake systems or enclosed spaces, signs of tampering to facilities, dead animals, birds, fish or insects, and unexplained odors should be reported. Strange smells may range from fruity or flowery to sharp, pungent, garlic horseradish-like, bitter almonds, peach kernels and newly mown grass and hay.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management urges Arkansans to stay calm regarding the increased threat level for terrorism in the United States, but to prepare themselves and their families for any disaster.

"Arkansans are much more likely to experience a natural disaster than to be caught in a terror attack," said W.R. "Bud" Harper, ADEM director. "By having a disaster plan, a disaster supply kit, and by learning how to shelter in your home, you will be prepared for any type of disaster."

Harper reiterated that there is no specific threat to Arkansas at this time.

Governor Mike Huckabee added, "The Department of Emergency Management is in close communication with our office and the federal Department of Homeland Security. If there is a threat that involves Arkansas, the public will be notified very quickly of the actions they should take. We want Arkansans to be prepared, but to remain calm and go about their daily business."

The following actions are things Arkansans can do to prepare for any disaster:

Create a Disaster Plan

* Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.

* Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children.

* Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.

* Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.

* Pick two places to meet: right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire and outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.

* Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are.

* Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

Family Disaster Kit

A family disaster kit should contain six basics -- water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and special items. Keep items in an easy-to-carry container. Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version in the trunk of your car.

A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.

* Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two for food preparation and sanitation).

* Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household. Also keep a supply of water purifying agents in the kit.

* Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, cooking or preparation. Don't forget to pack a can opener.

* You should have at least two first aid kits -- one for your home and one for each car you drive. Include at least one change of clothing and footwear per person. Remember family members with special needs such as infants and those with disabilities.

* Copies of important family documents should be packed in a waterproof, portable container.

Evacuation

If local authorities ask you to leave your home, they have a good reason to make this request, and you should heed the advice immediately. Listen to your radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials and keep these simple tips in mind-

1. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible.

2. Take your disaster supplies kit.

3. Take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative's or friend's home, or find a "pet-friendly" hotel.

4. Lock your home.

5. Use travel routes specified by local authorities -- don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.

6. Stay away from downed power lines.

Shelter in Place

If local officials advise you to "shelter in place," what they mean is for you to remain inside your home or office and protect yourself there. You would be advised to Shelter in Place through the Emergency Alert System or other notification on radio or television.

* Make sure all people and pets are inside. Do not risk your own health by trying to get farm animals into a shelter.

* Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. Seal around the doors and windows using plastic sheeting and tape. Place wet towels or sheets under doors and windows if there is a gap.

* Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Do not place the air system on to recirculate.

* Close the fireplace damper.

* Get your disaster supplies kit, and make sure the radio is working. Stay tuned to a local radio or television station for updated information and instructions. Officials will tell you when it is safe to leave your home.

* Go to an interior room without windows that's above ground level. The room should have at least 10 square feet per person. Take a chair with you to aid in sealing the room.

* In the case of a chemical threat, an aboveground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air, and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.

* Using duct tape, seal all cracks around the door and any vents and electrical outlets into the room. The room may become warm due to body heat. There is no need for alarm.

* Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Once the danger has passed you must air out your home. You may be putting yourself in more danger by staying in your home rather than leaving. Your home will absorb some of the chemical vapor and must air out in order for it to be safe to inhabit.

* Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.

For more information, contact your local emergency manager or the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management at 501-730-9750. More information can also be found on the ADEM Web site: www.adem.state.ar.us



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