CERT Flashcards
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #24
What three factors significantly affect safety after an incident that involves radiation, such as a dirty bomb or a nuclear device?

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They are distance, shielding, and time.
A critical protective action in a radiological or nuclear event is to get inside as quickly as possible, stay inside, and stay tuned to local radio or television stations for further guidance.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #24
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #23
Assessing the risk of terrorist weapons:

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Although nuclear weapons present the highest impact, they are considered the lowest risk because of the difficulty in obtaining enough weapons-grade material and the technical complexity of developing and maintaining the tolerances required for a nuclear device to detonate.
Chemical and high-yield explosive devices are considered higher risk but lower impact weapons.
Biological weapons are considered both high-risk and high-impact weapons – but only for diseases that are highly contagious. Other types of biological weapons (i.e., those requiring dispersal devices) are considered a lower risk because of the sensitivity of the biological agents to heat, light, and shock.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #23
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #22
Should you try to treat injuries in the contaminated area?

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As with professional responders, CERT members may have difficulty dealing with the idea that they should not try to help others, even partners, who are injured but may have been contaminated. Remember that:
1. You have a responsibility to yourself, to other CERT members, and to your families to operate safely.
2. You are neither trained nor equipped to deal with contaminated victims.
3. You cannot help anyone if you become a victim. In fact, you may make matters considerably worse if you spread the contamination. Make the best decisions possible with the information that you have at hand. Even if an incident turns out not to be terrorist related, you have made the right decision.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #22
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #21
There are several measures that you can expect professional responders to take when they arrive at the scene of a terrorist incident.

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The first step that professional responders will take when they arrive at the scene is to conduct a thorough sizeup. They will follow steps that are very similar to those that CERTs take to determine:
What is going on
How bad the situation is and how much worse it could get
What measures can be taken to control the incident safely
What resources will be needed

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #21
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #20
CERTs can help limit their exposure to the harmful effects of terrorist weapons by:

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Moving quickly to limit their exposure time

Evacuating the area as quickly as possible, being sure to move perpendicular to or upwind of an airborne plume, and upstream if contaminants are waterborne
Using the protection of a sturdy building as shielding, going inside if contaminant is outside and going outside if contaminant is inside. If the event includes radioactive fallout, it is important to go quickly deep inside a building for protection.
Safely decontaminating themselves when necessary

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #20
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #19
CERTs can expect professional responders to treat terrorist incidents much the same as hazardous materials incidents. As such, the next step that they will take is to establish three incident zones to minimize the risk of spreading contamination from the incident site.

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The Hot Zone includes the incident scene and the contaminated area around the scene. If the incident is outdoors, the Hot Zone will spread downwind, taking wind speed into consideration.
The Warm Zone is upwind (and upstream if the contaminant is waterborne) from the Hot Zone and is used to isolate victims during decontamination. Professional responders will hold those who require decontamination in the Warm Zone until decontamination is complete so that contaminants do not spread.
The Cold Zone is located upwind and beyond the Warm Zone. Those who are not contaminated or who have been decontaminated will be kept there until professional responders authorize them to leave.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #19
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #18
Procedures for sheltering-in-place during a chemical or biological attack

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Shut off the ventilation system and latch all doors and windows to reduce airflow from the outside.

Go to your shelter-in-place room (where your precut plastic, duct tape, radio, and other supplies should be stored).
Use precut plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover openings where air can enter the room, including doors, windows, vents, electrical outlets, and telephone outlets.
Listen to Emergency Alert System broadcasts on a battery-powered radio for the all clear. You will generally not need to stay in a sealed room for more than a few hours.
After contaminants have cleared, open windows and vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #18
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #17
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

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Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) include any device that is created in an improvised manner, incorporating explosives or other materials designed to destroy, disfigure, distract, or harass.

Most bombs used by terrorists are improvised.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #17
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #16
High-Yield Explosives

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High-yield explosives are the most commonly used terrorist weapons because they are easy to get, easy to hide and activate, and they can cause extensive damage.

While terrorists have used military munitions such as grenades, mortars, and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, experts rate high-yield explosives in the form of improvised explosive devices as a greater threat.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #16
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #15
Nuclear Weapons

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A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reaction.
All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded, including blinding light, intense heat, initial nuclear radiation, blast, fires started by the heat pulse, secondary fires caused by the destruction, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around.
A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile launched by a hostile nation or terrorist organization, to a small portable nuclear device transported by an individual.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #15
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #14
Radiological Weapons

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Radiation is energy in the form of waves or particles given off during radioactive decay or as a consequence of certain physical processes that we can control.

Examples of these are x-ray machines and particle accelerators. Radiation cannot be seen, smelled, or otherwise detected by normal senses. High doses or prolonged exposure to radiation can cause radiation sickness and possibly death.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #14
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #13
Biological Weapons

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Biological agents are found in nature and can also be manufactured.

It is possible to weaponize biological agents so that they can be disseminated to affect broad segments of the population, animal populations, or crops. Some biological agents are contagious, but many are not.
Routes of exposure for biological weapons are:
Inhalation
Ingestion
Absorption
Many, but not all, biological agents take days or even weeks for their symptoms to appear. It is possible for a biological attack to occur and remain unnoticed for some time.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #13
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #12
Chemical Weapons

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Unlike biological agents or nuclear materials, which are difficult to produce or purchase, the ingredients used to produce chemical weapons are found in common products and petrochemicals. Terrorists can turn these common products into lethal weapons.

Blister agents cause blisters, burns, and other tissue damage.
Blood agents are absorbed into the bloodstream and deprive blood cells of oxygen.
Choking agents attack the lungs.
Nerve agents affect the central nervous system.
Riot-control agents cause respiratory distress and tearing and are designed to incapacitate rather than kill.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #12
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #11
Experts generally agree that there are five categories of possible terrorist weapons. The acronym CBRNE will help you remember what five categories?

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1. Chemical
2. Biological
3. Radiological
4. Nuclear
5. High-yield Explosives
It is important to remember that CBRNE incidents may occur accidentally (such as a chlorine tanker truck accident) or naturally (such as pandemic influenza).

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #11
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #10
What are “hard” and “soft” targets?

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Terrorists may select “soft” or lightly protected targets over “hard” or very secure targets.

Potential terrorist targets might include:
Seats of government
Key industries
Bridges, subways, tunnels, and other key transportation facilities
Water supplies and utilities
Places of historical significance
Terrorists may also be drawn to major events such as parades or athletic and entertainment events.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #10
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #9
What are the goals of terrorism?

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Terrorist attacks can occur with or without warning. Because of the nature of terrorist attacks, they can, and are often intended to, result in:

Mass casualties
Loss of critical resources
Disruption of vital services Disruption of the economy
Heightened fear

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #9
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #8
What is terrorism?

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The U.S. Department of Justice’s definition of terrorism is:

The unlawful use of force or violence committed by a group or individual against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #8
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #7
What actions should you take for decontamination if a chemical or radiological attack should occur?

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Leave the contaminated area immediately

Remove everything
Wash hands
Flush entire body with cool water,
Blot dry, DO NOT rub the skin
Put on clean clothes

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #7
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #6
Shelter-in-place procedures

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To be able to execute these procedures during an actual event requires that you:
Store precut plastic sheeting in your identified shelter-in-place room
Assemble and store food, water, and a battery-operated radio in the room
Practice sealing the room
Establish shelter-in-place procedures wherever you spend significant amounts of time at home, at work, at school
As a rule of thumb, 10 square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for up to 5 hours, assuming a normal breathing rate while resting.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #6
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #5
Does CERT respond to terrorism incidents?

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Because personal safety is the first priority, as with hazardous materials, CERT members should treat possible terrorist incidents as a stop sign.

CERTs are not equipped or trained to respond to terrorist incidents.
Professional responders will need specialized equipment and personnel to respond to a terrorist incident.
In addition, it is important to remember that terrorism incident scenes are also crime scenes. CERT members should avoid taking any action that may disturb potential evidence.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #5
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #4
What may be some of the possible physical indicators that a terrorist attack may have occurred?

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Multiple casualties without obvious signs of trauma

Multiple victims who are exhibiting similar symptoms
Large numbers of persons seeking medical attention with similar symptoms that are not characteristic of the season.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #4
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #3
If you observe any indicators of a terrorist incident, you should:

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Not touch it!

Move away from the object or area
Report it to authorities immediately
Remember: Cellular phones and two-way radios create static electricity and may detonate explosive devices. CERT members should always report suspected explosive devices via landline.

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #3
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #2
What are indicators that an attack has occurred or is underway?

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Vapor clouds or mists that are unusual for the area or for the time of day

Unscheduled spraying or abandoned spray devices.
Materials or equipment that are unusual for the area.
Unusual odors or tastes
Out of place and unattended packages, boxes, or vehicles.
Packages that are leaking

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #2
Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #1
What are eight signs of terrorism?

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1. Surveillance

2. Elicitation

3. Tests of security

4. Funding

5. Acquiring supplies

6. Impersonation or suspicious people who don’t belong

7. Rehearsal and dry runs

8. Deployment

Unit 8 – Terrorism & CERT #1