Terrorism is a Daily Reality
We live within 90 miles of each of these:
- A nuclear reactor.
- Entertainment complexes where hundreds of thousands of people gather daily.
- NASA and Kennedy Space Center
- Tampa, McDill AFB, the headquarters for the US war on terror.
All of these are prime targets for a terrorist attack. Think of the targets that are in your area. Large malls, military bases, water treatment facilities or simply areas where large numbers of people gather. Any of these would stand out as a prime target for a terrorist individual or group to target.
A terrorist attack in our area is a very real possibility. We are in the tourist capital of the world. On any given day there are over 500,000 tourist in Central Florida visiting any one of 10 theme parks or the beaches. We truly live in a target rich environment.
Planning For Terrorism Is Difficult
Terrorism is a difficult emergency to plan for. Much of the planning will depend on the type, place and size of the attack. Evacuation may be required for a large scale attack involving the nuclear plant or a dirty bomb. An attack on a theme park might not any effect on us unless we are at the park. There are too many scenarios to plan for all of them. A broad plan that encompasses as many as possible is the only answer.
Think of the previous terror attacks in New York City, Boston and Orlando. These were all tragic and horrific to see on the news and in person, they had very little effect outside of the building, area or region where they took place.
We will attempt to plan for an attack locally that could effect us. It is unlikely that we would be directly involved as a target in any of these attacks. We will feel the after effects and plan accordingly.
Length of the Disaster
The attack would be fast and without warning. A suicide nature (bomber or coordinated squad size attack) will be handled by the local police and military. The after effects to us should be minimal.
An attack by a larger group or more coordinated amongst multiple groups, bombers and targets then police and military resources will be pushed a bit more but still should be able to handle the attack. You should expect the effects will be felt short-term and life should return to normal within weeks or a month.
An Attack Involving Nuclear Devices Will Last The Longest
An attack directed toward the nuclear plant will require evacuation to a safe zone. This zone will depend on the direction of the fallout but should be northward out of the state. Since there are limited evacuation routes and 25+ million people in this state we will have massive problems. The result will certainly be clogged roads and panicked people.
If the attack is with a “dirty bomb” the effect would be the same as an attack on the nuclear plant. This type of attack spreads radiation. The direction of evacuation would depend on the direction of the fallout. The region would remain contaminated for decades and displacement would be permanent.
If the attack involves an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) the results to the region will be catastrophic. An EMP will cause all electronics to immediately stop working. Cars stop where they are, computers no longer functions, radios do not work and planes literally fall out of the sky. The range of the disaster depends upon the size of the EMP deployed. The length of the disaster will depend upon how long resupply can reach us from outside the affected area. The plan should be to survive for months, if not years.
These factors make planning for a terrorist attack difficult. Terrorism must be a consideration for any disaster plan today.