Fortunately for our area, there is no anticipated natural event other than an extremely unlikely asteroid impact that could call for a general evacuation. An industrial accident, Hazardous Material accident or terrorist event, though, is a possibility. For terrorist attacks, Woodbridge would logically be near the outer fringe of areas that would see evacuation as a necessity for survival. Logical targets for such a major attack are at least twenty miles away. That gives us a head start, IF we are paying attention and IF the critical public broadcasting systems are able to function at least marginally. It makes time critical, however. If evacuation is the decision, it must be carried out immediately; before thousands of panicked people descend upon our own area.
You may need to survive on your own without services for three days or more. A reasonable goal is self-sufficiency for 1 week. With the scenarios we must anticipate for terrorist-created emergencies, you should presume that normal services and infrastructures will be broken down, unavailable, or otherwise forced out of service. You may be forced to stay in your car, or to camp out in rustic conditions. Remember that chaos is a primary goal in a terrorist attack. At the worst, this means:
- No cell phone service
- No land telephone service
- No Internet
- No ATMs operating
- No water
- Broadcast TV and radio interrupted or severely curtailed
- Widespread electric power outages
- Traffic signals non-functional
- Major highways closed;most roads clogged to a standstill
- All subways, trains, buses and planes halted or grounded
- No police, fire, rescue, or medical services available
- No shopping available; no stores or restaurants open
- No gasoline available from stations.
- No banking services
- No commercial lodging available
- Desperate, me-first “survival behavior” by large numbers of otherwise law-abiding people
- Heightened criminal activity; crimes of opportunity, rampant property destruction, & general lawlessness
Without communications, YOU MUST HAVE A PRE-DESIGNATED MEETING PLACE TO RE-GROUP WITH YOUR FAMILY IN CASE OF SEPARATION at the time of the event. You must have a planned escape route, and you must be prepared to leave immediately. There will not be time to gather everything that you will need. Also, keep in mind that, in addition to one from your home, you will need a planned evacuation route from your workplace, or any other place where you spend a sizable portion of your time.