Terrorism is an act of violence with the intention to create panic and terror among the mass mainly to harm the political aims of the government (Bruce, 2013). Terrorism is present geographically and possesses a continuous threat for every nation. Terrorists target those areas which attracts a large number of people like schools, army or navy or marine bases, sports stadiums, offices, malls and many other places (Combs, 2017). This essay will discuss the possible terrorist attack in two areas which are high school and water resource facility and the possible decontamination plan that could be followed in case of a chemical attack.
In earlier times, the possibility of a school or university being hit by a terrorist attack was highly impossible and terrifying. However, certain events have made this a possibility and have alarmed the whole education system (Petkova et al., 2017). The reasons for such attacks on high schools could be various. Firstly, schools impart knowledge and help in the formulation of ideologies. The attacks on such a facility prevents education and the thought process of the students and creates a sense of panic among them. Secondly, majority if the schools have good infrastructure, labs, some historical attachments and medical facilities. They also have a huge gathering during any sports or other kind of event. An attack in such scenarios would destroy the facility and harm a lot of crowd and also grab huge media attention (Benson, 2013). Thirdly, very less security measures are taken in schools and hence it makes them a soft target for the terrorists. Lastly, many schools are home to many international students from all over the world. Targeting such schools would mean producing an international conflict. It is understood that a high school in the nearby area is hit by a chemical terror attack. The decontamination considerations during the attack can be as follows. The first decontamination step that should be taken is the removal of the chemically contaminated clothing so that no further harm can reach the body. The clothing should be removed in such a way that the chemical does not enter the nose, ear or mouth during removal of the clothes. The next step that could be taken is the washing of the victims by any water source. Using warm water is advisable since it helps in the quick evaporation of the chemicals. Cool water should be avoided unless no other water source is available for the decontamination. These are the initial decontamination procedures that should be followed within a fixed time period of the contamination or attack. These initial steps are required to prevent any form of expansion of contamination of harm to the victims. As a first responder the first thing that has to be done is to divide the victims of the attack into different groups depending on the exposure of the chemical on the people. Once the victims have been divided in the groups the individuals who are in direct contact with the chemical exposure have to be decontaminated with the above mentioned procedures. As a first responder it is mandatory to show the victims the way for the water shower, so that they can receive the initial decontamination within the stipulated time frame for the procedure. It should be kept in mind that the skin does not stay in contact with water for a long duration. There are certain things that should be followed by a first responder in case of such a chemical attack (Rabjohn, 2013).
Water resources are the most concerned spots for chemical attacks due to various reasons. People do not normally pay attention to water resources such as water dams, waterfalls, water reservoirs and other kinds of water resources, and understand that there is a big chance that such places would take severe terrorist attacks (Pugovkina & Bahlyustov, 2015). Water resources are the easiest to target a large group of people as this is what connects different areas of people. Suppose there is a water dam near a certain populated area. The people of that area receive their water supply from the nearest water resource. Hence, if the water supply is contaminated then many public heath can be in danger and it could have lasting effects on the health if the affected individuals. This is why is becomes a vulnerable target for the terrorists as they can target a vast number of population by targeting one single place. Decontamination consideration for chemical attacks in a water supply nearby a populated area should be as follows. The first and foremost thing would to cut off as much water supply as possible of the contaminated water to the population nearby. This will lessen the spread of contaminated water to the people and reduce the health risks (Ecoresourcegroup.com, 2018). The next step that could be taken is to plan emergency supply of drinking water since the people will be left with no clean water for drinking. Then the water has to be decontaminated with the use of proper medicinal chemicals that would enable the harmful chemicals to evaporate or destroy with the effects of the chemical on the water. As a first responder, if the chemical attack has occurred within a nearby water facility, then it is mandatory that first of all the water supply be cut off before any other activity. The people nearby should be briefed about the attack and prevented from entering the affected area and refrain from using the water supplied from that facility further (Nfpa.org, 2018). This would be the initial decontamination step so that the people are kept away from the hazardous effects of the chemicals. After the initial briefing and stopping the supply of water, further measures van be taken with the help of professional team who expertise on contamination.
It can be said from the above essay that chemical attacks are very hazardous to the human health. Hence, it is the first responders, who are the people who reach the site first who can help in reducing the damage that is done to the mass. However, self-precaution should the first priority of every first responder before helping anyone else.
Benson, W. F. (2013). Disaster planning tips for older adults and their families. CDC Healthy Aging Program Health Benefits ABCs, 00221-5.
Bruce, G. (2013). Definition of terrorism social and political effects. Journal of Military and Veterans Health, 21(2), 26.
Combs, C. C. (2017). Terrorism in the twenty-first century. Routledge.
Ecoresourcegroup.com (2018). [Online] Ecoresourcegroup.com. Available at: https://www.ecoresourcegroup.com/pdf/Planning%20for%20Decontamination%20Wastewater%202005-10decon.pdf [Accessed 28 May 2018].
Nfpa.org. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/news-and-research/resources/external-links/first-responders/decontamination/ecbc_guide_masscasualtydecontam_0813.pdf?la=en
Petkova, E. P., Martinez, S., Schlegelmilch, J., & Redlener, I. (2017). Schools and terrorism: global trends, impacts, and lessons for resilience. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 40(8), 701-711.
Pugovkina, Y. S., & Bahlyustov, A. I. (2015). Landscape and water body contamination due to pipeline accidents: case study of oil fields in Western Siberia. In ?????????? ????-??? ? ???????? ???????: ????????? VIII ????????????? ???????????? ??????? ???????????? ??????????? ? ?????????? ??????? ????? ????? ?????????? ?? ????????, ?. ?????, 23-27 ?????? 2015 ?.—?????, 2015.(pp. 575-578).
Rabjohn, A. (2013). The human cost of being a ‘first responder’. Journal of business continuity & emergency planning, 6(3), 268-271.