During & After a Chemical Terrorist Attack

During an Attack


Remain calm. If you are instructed to remain in your home or office building, you should:
  • Close all doors and windows
  • Turn off all ventilation, including furnaces, air conditioners, vents, and fans
  • Seek shelter in an internal room and take your disaster supply kit with you
  • Seal the room with duct tape and plastic sheeting
  • Listen to your radio for instructions from authorities
If you are caught in or near a contaminated area, you should:
  • Move away immediately in a direction upwind of the source
  • Find shelter as quickly as possible

After an Attack


Do not leave your shelter and stay indoors until authorities announce you can do so. If you or someone else has been affected by a chemical agent, immediately seek medical attention.

If medical help is not available, you can decontaminate yourself and others by following these steps:
  • Use extreme caution when helping others who have been exposed
  • Remove all clothing and other items in contact with the body
  • Contaminated clothing normally removed over the head should be cut off to avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Put contaminated clothing in a bag and seal it
  • Remove eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Put glasses in a pan of household bleach to decontaminate, rinse, and dry
  • Flush eyes with water
  • Gently wash face and hair with soap and water before thoroughly rinsing with water
  • Decontaminate other body areas likely to have been contaminated; blot (do not swab or scrape) with a cloth soaked in soapy water and rinse with clear water
  • Change into uncontaminated clothes
  • Clothing stored in drawers or closets is likely to be uncontaminated
  • Proceed to a medical facility for screening and professional treatment