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Terrorism and
Weapons of Mass Destruction


Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and link to the memorialSince the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, and most recently the events of September 11, 2001, the threat of terrorism in the United States has become an ever-increasing concern. United States citizens as well as emergency responders can no longer take our safety for granted. The University of Illinois Police Department recognizes the terrorist threat and believes all members of the community must work in partnership to ensure everyone’s safety. The University of Illinois Police Department has always engaged in the planning for natural disasters; now we have to add terrorism to our vocabulary.

Working in partnership to protect students, staff, faculty, and the learning environment on our campus requires vigilance and the sharing of information. All members of the campus community must constantly remain vigilant. If you see anything that looks suspicious or out of place, call the University of Illinois Police Department at 217-333-1216. A member of our department will answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are also emergency phones located in all campus building, parking garages and illuminated kiosks throughout campus which connect directly to the University of Illinois Police Department.

It should be noted that no intelligence to date indicates that the University of Illinois or its components are a particular terrorist target; however, we must be diligent in our efforts to protect our safety. The University of Illinois has been working in partnership with local, state and federal government officials to update emergency response plans. In the event of a terrorist attack, the Division of Public Safety will work collaboratively with the Office of Public Affiars to alert the campus community and provide additional information.

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Preparing for Terrorism/Natural Disaster

A terrorist attack will likely come without any warnlink to Ready.Gov homepageing. The best way to prepare for a terrorist attack or any other emergency is to have an emergency plan in place. Your emergency plan should be based on the most updated information regarding the types of threats that the Department of Homeland Security has identified. Remember, the threat of terrorism does not mean you have to change everything in your life, just be prepared. It is suggested that each person on campus have an emergency readiness kit. It should include at least a three-day supply of food and water, clothing, toilet paper, a battery-operated radio tuned to 1400 AM WDWS, a first aid kit and a blanket. Plastic sheeting and duct tape to secure a residence is also recommended.

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Before, During, and After a Terrorist Incident


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Remember, it may be necessary to “shelter in place” if a weapons of mass destruction incident occurs. “Shelter in place” is a term which refers to staying where you are (such as inside a building or other place of shelter) in order to avoid being contaminated with whatever agent may have been dispersed. With many types of agents, the best way to protect yourself is to stay indoors and not leave until authorities have deemed it safe to do so. If a full evacuation is necessary, authorities will notify the community immediately and will provide information regarding locations of safety.

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Information on and Descriptions of

Terrorists Threats

Chemical Threats

link to Ready.Gov be informed chemical page

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Biological Threats

link to Ready.Gov be informed biological page

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Radiological Threats

link to Ready.Gov be informed radiation page

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Nuclear Threats

link to Ready.Gov be informed nulear page

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Explosive Threats

link to Ready.Gov be informed explosions page

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Identifying Suspicious Packages & Envelopes

Some characteristics of suspicious packages and envelopes include the following:
link to USPS suspicious mail page

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Handling of Suspicious Packages or Envelopes

If a package or envelope appears suspicious:

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National Terrorism Advisory System

The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). This new system will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation’s security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do.

For more information see the NTAS Public Guide on the Department of Homeland Security page.


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