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Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Incident

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) is a bomb. IEDs are designed to destroy or incapacitate personnel or vehicles. In some cases, IEDs are used to target, distract, disrupt or delay first responders and may be used to facilitate another type of attack. IEDs may incorporate military or commercially sourced explosives and often combine both types. In the U.S. and in the District, IEDs could be used during terrorist actions. Explosive devices can be highly portable, using vehicles and humans as a means of transport. IEDs are easily detonated from remote locations or by suicide bombers and can be made with homemade explosives.

For more information on Improvised Explosive Device (IED) hazards, visit: dhs.gov/bombing-prevention-training.

 

Before

The following are things you can do to prepare your home, family and pets in the event of an explosion:

  • Build or re-stock your Emergency Kit.
  • Stay Informed through local radio, television or official social media accounts. Download the free HSEMA app or AlertDC to receive updates wherever you are.
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family members may not all be in one place when disaster strikes.  It is important to know how you will contact one another, how and where you will meet and what you will do in case of an emergency.

 

During

Use the following tips to help your home, family, and pets during an IED incident:

  • Stay Informed through local radio, television or official social media accounts. Download the free HSEMA app or AlertDC to receive updates wherever you are.
  • Get under a sturdy table or desk if things are falling around you.
  • When you are able, leave quickly, and watch out for falling debris.
  • Leave the building as quickly as possible. Stay low if there is smoke.
  • Do not stop to retrieve personal possessions or make phone calls.
  • Do not use elevators when evacuating.

If outdoors (or once you have safely exited a building):

  • Do not stand in front of windows, glass doors or other potentially hazardous areas.
  • Move away from sidewalks or streets to be used by emergency officials or others still exiting the building.
  • Follow the directions of first responders.

If you are trapped in debris:

  • Whistle to signal your location to rescuers.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you.
  • Shout only as a last resort (shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust).
  • Avoid unnecessary movement so you do not stir up dust.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand (cotton material acts as a good filter).

 

After

Stay Informed through local radio, television or official social media accounts. Download the free HSEMA app or AlertDC to receive updates wherever you are.

Be aware of the following:

  • Law enforcement and other officials may need information about any medical needs and your designated beneficiaries.
  • Health and mental health resources in the affected communities can be stretched thin.
  • Extensive media coverage, strong public fear and international implications and consequences can continue for a prolonged period.
  • Workplaces and schools may be closed and domestic and international travel may be restricted.
  • You and your family may have to evacuate.
  • Clean-up may take many months.

The following scenarios could occur after an IED Incident:

In the workplace, a manager or designed human resources representative should:

  • Account for all individuals at a designated assembly point to determine if anyone is missing and/or injured.
  • Notify families of individuals affected, including notification of any casualties. For businesses and other organizations, the notification should come only from designated managers and/or other human resources staff members.
  • Assess the well-being of individuals at the scene, and refer them to health care specialists if necessary.

At home:

  • Communicate with family members and friends.
    • If you have a cell phone, call, text, email or use social media.
    • If you have access to a computer, use an online registry such as the Red Cross website, “Safe and Well”.
    • If you do not have a cell phone, use social media apps on personal gaming or tablet devices.
    • Once the “all clear” is given to leave shelter-in-place, if you do not have access to any technology, go to your pre-designated meeting place for you to reconnect with family members or consider relaying information through friends, family or even your workplace.
    • Check on your neighbors. Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children, the elderly, or people with disabilities or access and functional needs.

Additional Resources