Preparing for the Worst: A Comprehensive Guide to Protecting Your Family from Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Other Catastrophes


Preparing for the Worst details the best practices in antiterrorism tactics and preparing for disaster. This book is for typical American families, business travelers, corporate executive management personnel, emergency first responders, school administrators, and local government officials responsible for public safety and emergency management.

Americans are regularly bombarded with reports of disaster and tragedy in the daily news. Catastrophes like earthquakes, hurricanes, ...

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Preparing for the Worst: A Comprehensive Guide to Protecting Your Family from Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Other Catastrophes

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Preparing for the Worst details the best practices in antiterrorism tactics and preparing for disaster. This book is for typical American families, business travelers, corporate executive management personnel, emergency first responders, school administrators, and local government officials responsible for public safety and emergency management.

Americans are regularly bombarded with reports of disaster and tragedy in the daily news. Catastrophes like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, violent crimes, and terrorism are so common and routine that many of us have become numb to the stories. Without a heightened awareness, focused concern, and effective planning, we have lost the edge that can save lives.

Do you know what you should do to protect your family during a disaster? Does your neighbor have the knowledge required to survive a catastrophic event? Part of the solution is rooted in common sense, but much more depends upon effectively applying learned survival skills. Americans need a helpful reference tool—a Swiss army knife for handling today's threats. This book is that tool.

A former U.S. Marine and Desert Storm veteran, Schaefer-Jones has experienced calamity firsthand. He is also a concerned husband and the father of three young children. While considering how he would personally handle a disastrous event close to home, he came to realize that a comprehensive how-to guide was not available—until now.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Schaefer-Jones….[e]xplains preparations by which people can prove themselves and save their families during an emergency. After going over the basics such as having plans and supplies, he looks at specific natural, technological, and terrorism hazards. A final chapter discusses recovering from disaster."


Reference & Research Book News

"The author covers a gamut of natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other threats that may be realized….This title is recommended for public libraries. It may be a good addition to college libraries where courses are offered to public safety professionals and first responders."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275996314
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2007
  • Series: Praeger Security International Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JAMES (JAY) SCHAEFER-JONES is Director of Night Vision Programs for a government subcontractor in Fairfield, N.J., where he supports a domestic and international network of sales representatives responsible for night vision and security product sales to military, federal, local law enforcement, and broadcast and media customers. He is an active volunteer with his local Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). An engineer by training, he also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Chief Communications and Electronics Technician at Camp LeJeune, N.C., writing Standard Operating Procedures and operator's manuals. He was formally recognized through official correspondence for improvising unique solutions during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures xiii

Preface xv

Chapter 1 Why Prepare? Using This Guide to Prepare 1

Chapter 2 Be Prepared: The Basics 4

Do Your Homework 5

Hazards 5

Warning Systems and Signals 7

Evacuating Yourself and Your Family 8

Community and Other Plans 9

School Emergency Plans 10

Workplace Plans 10

Emergency Planning and Checklists 10

Escape Routes 11

Family Communications 11

Utility Shutoff and Safety 11

Insurance and Vital Records 13

Special Needs 13

Caring for Animals 14

Safety Skills 15

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit 15

Kit Locations 15

Water 16

Food 17

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit 17

Maintaining Your Disaster Supplies Kit 18

Shelter 19

Managing Water 19

Managing Food Supplies 22

Hazard-Specific Preparedness 23

Other Considerations in the Wake of a Disaster 23

Volunteer-Responder Convergence 23

Peripheral Hazards 24

Practicing and Maintaining Your Plan 24

Chapter 3 Resources for More Information 25

International 25

U.S. Federal Government 25

State and Local Authorities 26

Commercial and Others 28

Chapter 4 Natural Hazards 31

Earthquakes 31

Know the Terms 32

Take Protective Measures 32

Fires 34

Classification of Fires 35

Take Protective Measures 35

Floods 38

Know the Terms 38

Take Protective Measures 39

Extreme Heat 40

Know the Terms 41

Take Protective Measures 41

First Aid for Heat-Induced Illnesses 42

Additional Information 42

Hurricanes 42

Know the Terms 45

Take Protective Measures 45

Landslides and Mudslides 47

Take Protective Measures 47

Thunderstorms and Lightning 48

Know the Terms 49

Take Protective Measures 49

Tornadoes 51

Know the Terms 52

TakeProtective Measures 52

Tsunamis 53

Know the Terms 54

Take Protective Measures 54

Volcanoes 55

Take Protective Measures 55

Wildfires 56

Take Protective Measures 56

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold 58

Know the Terms 58

Take Protective Measures 59

Pandemics 61

Know the Terms 65

Take Protective Measures 66

Other Disease Threats 71

Take Protective Measures 72

If You Suspect that You Might Be Infected 73

Chapter 5 Technological Hazards 75

Hazardous Materials Incidents 75

Take Protective Measures 75

Household Chemical Emergencies 77

Take Protective Measures 79

Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies 81

Minimizing Exposure to Radiation 82

Know the Terms 82

Take Protective Measures 83

Chapter 6 Terrorism 84

General Information about Terrorism 84

Homeland Security Advisory System 86

Threat Conditions and Associated Protective Measures 86

Bomb Threats or Explosions 88

Take Protective Measures 89

Biological Threats 90

Take Protective Measures 90

Chemical Threats 92

Take Protective Measures 93

Nuclear Threats 94

Hazards of Nuclear Devices 95

Take Protective Measures 96

Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD) Threats 98

Take Protective Measures 98

Personal Antiterrorism Measures 100

Identifying the Threat 101

Limiting Visibility 102

Physical Security 107

Travel 110

Detecting Surveillance 114

Attack Recognition 116

Incident Reaction 117

Cyber-Terrorism and Identity Theft 118

Cyber-Terrorism 118

Identity Theft 119

Chapter 7 Recovering from Disaster 120

Health and Safety Guidelines 120

Aiding the Injured 120

Health 121

Safety Issues 121

Returning Home 121

Before You Enter Your Home 121

Going Inside Your Home 122

Being Wary of Wildlife and Other Animals 123

Seeking Disaster Assistance 123

Direct Assistance 123

The Federal Role 123

Coping with Disaster 124

Understand Disaster Events 124

Recognize Signs of Disaster-Related Stress 124

Easing Disaster-Related Stress 125

Helping Children Cope with Disaster 125

Monitor and Limit Your Family's Exposure to the Media 128

Use Support Networks 128

Helping Others 129

Appendix A Water Conservation Tips 130

Indoor Water Conservation Tips 130

General 130

Bathroom 130

Kitchen 131

Laundry 131

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips 131

General 131

Car Washing 132

Lawn Care 132

Pool 132

Appendix B Disaster Supplies Checklists 133

First-Aid Supplies 133

Nonprescription and Prescription Medicine Kit Supplies 135

Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies 136

Tools and Equipment 137

Food and Water 139

Clothes and Bedding Supplies 139

Vital Information 140

Appendix C First Aid in an NBC Environment 142

General 142

NBC First-Aid Materials 142

Classification of Chemical and Biological Agents 143

Conditions that May Signal a Chemical or Biological Attack 144

First Aid for a Chemical Attack 145

Nerve Agents 145

Signs and Symptoms of Nerve Agent Poisoning 146

First Aid for Nerve Agent Poisoning 146

Blister Agents 148

Protective Measures 148

Signs and Symptoms of Blister Agent Poisoning 148

First-Aid Measures for Blister Agent Poisoning 149

Choking Agents (Lung-Damaging Agents) 149

Protective Measures 149

Signs and Symptoms of Choking Agents 149

Self-Aid 150

Cyanogen (Blood) Agents 150

Protective Measures 150

Signs and Symptoms of Cyanogen Agent Poisoning 150

First Aid for Cyanogen Agent Poisoning 151

Incapacitating Agents and First Aid 151

Incendiary Agents and First Aid 152

Biological Agents and First Aid 153

Toxins 153

Signs and Symptoms of Toxin Exposure 153

Self-Aid for Toxin Exposure 154

Nuclear Detonation, RDD Events, or Nuclear Reactor Accidents 154

Appendix D Disaster Planning for Pets and Livestock 156

General 156

Planning for Domestic Pets 156

Before a Disaster 156

During a Disaster 158

After a Disaster 159

Planning for Horses, Large Animals, and Livestock 159

Before a Disaster 159

During a Disaster 161

After a Disaster 162

Appendix E Evacuating Mass Transit 163

General 163

Emergencies on a Train or a Subway Car 163

Types of Emergencies 164

Before a Disaster 164

During a Disaster 164

After a Disaster Evacuation 165

Emergencies on a School (or Commuter) Bus 166

Before a Disaster 166

During a Disaster 167

After a Disaster Evacuation 167

Emergencies on an Airplane 168

Before a Disaster 168

During a Disaster 169

After a Disaster Evacuation 169

Appendix F Sheltering in Place 171

Take Protective Measures 171

Before a Disaster 172

During a Disaster 173

After a Disaster 175

Appendix G Emergency Communications 176

9-1-1 176

2-1-1 177

Citizen's Band (CB) 178

49 MHz Personal Radios 178

Family Radio Service (FRS) 179

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) 179

Multiuse Radio Service (MURS) 180

Amateur Radio Service (Ham Radio) 180

Scanners 181

Global Positioning System (GPS) 182

Emergency Alert System (EAS) 182

Emergency Weather Receivers 183

Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) 183

Emergency Family Communications Plan 184

Index 185

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