Domestic Preparedness

Being Aware is Being Prepared

It's natural to be afraid of terrorists and their acts. It's also our fear upon which the terrorists feed. Terrorists use our fear as a weapon to achieve their political and social goals. The nature of terrorism causes fear because it's difficult to predict when or where a terrorist may strike. Some of the things we do know though are a few of the factors terrorists may use when choosing a target.

  • Terrorists aim to achieve large numbers of victims, high media attention or mass panic and public anxiety.
  • Terrorists commonly use bombs as weapons of choice.
  • Terrorists look for visible targets - airports, large cities, major events, resorts and other high-profile landmarks where they can avoid detection before and after an attack.
  • Terrorists often choose targets that offer little danger to themselves - areas with relatively easy public access.
  • Terrorists select targets best suited for the type of material being used. For example, some biological agents are not effective in sunlight while most chemical agents work best indoors with limited airflow.

Understanding the nature of terrorist acts and how terrorists operate helps us better prevent and prepare for such an event.The Lincoln-Lancaster County Department of Emergency Management is committed to planning for, training and exercising emergency first responders and support agencies at the local level to reduce the risks of terrorism, but preparedness is everyone's job! We, as Nebraskans, can take control of our fate by taking some of the same actions we take to prepare for any type of disaster or emergency.

Prepare Now

  • Develop a disaster plan for your home or business.
  • Get to know your neighbors and their needs.
  • Identify an out-of-state contact for each member of your family to notify of their situation and status after an emergency.
  • Identify a rally point if you get separated from your family.
  • Know the emergency procedures at your child's school.
  • Know where fire exits and extinguishers are and practice emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Prepare a box or backpack with basic supplies for a 72-hour period: water, nonperishable foods, flashlight, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, blankets, first aid kit, etc.

Be Alert

  • Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don't accept packages from strangers.
  • Don't leave luggage unattended.
  • Learn where emergency exits are located.
  • Learn where staircases are located.
  • Take precautions when traveling.
  • Think ahead about how to evacuate a building or congested public area in a hurry.

If An Emergency Occurs

Staying calm in an emergency can save your life.

It sounds easy to say and hard to do, but if you have planned ahead for emergencies it may be easier than you think.

  1. Don't panic.
  2. Follow your emergency plan. Check for and treat injuries. You can find First Aid tips in the white pages of your telephone book.
  3. Check for damage, fires, gas leaks and other hazards using a flashlight. Don't light matches or candles. Don't turn on electrical switches - sparks could cause an explosion.
  4. Check on your neighbors.
  5. Call your family contact.
  6. Stay informed by listening to a battery-operated radio and follow instructions issued by authorities.
  7. Don't call 911 unless you have a serious emergency.


  • At home put on sturdy shoes to protect your feet from debris.
  • At work use the stairs and stay to your right to leave a path for emergency personnel.
  • If you're instructed to "shelter-in-place", stay indoors, close windows, doors and turn off ventilation systems like air conditioning and your furnace. Do not leave your sheltered location until authorities instruct you to do so.

Important Numbers for Lincoln & Lancaster County

  • Emergency: 911
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management: 404-441-7441
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department: 404-441-8000
  • Non-Emergency (Police, Fire, Medical): 404-441-6000