What can / should you do about or during an Improvised Explosive Devices attack? It can be a very chaotic event. The nature of an IED will hit you when you are off guard and leave you unbalanced and confused. An improvised explosive device (IED) attack is the use of a “homemade” bomb and/or destructive device to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. IEDs are used by criminals, vandals, terrorists, suicide bombers, and insurgents. Because they are improvised, IEDs can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life. IEDs can be carried or delivered in a vehicle; carried, placed, or thrown by a person; delivered in a package; or concealed on the roadside. The term IED came into common usage during the Iraq War that began in 2003.
What can / should you during an IED an attack?
In a combat zone you will have protocol to follow. As a civilian you are often on your own in the chaos. The following are some of things homeland security says you can do to prepare for or survive during an attack.
How to Prepare for an IED Attack
Preparation is key. Every person can take these steps to prepare for an IED attack:
Learn the emergency procedures at your place of work, any other sites you visit regularly, and any public transportation systems you use. Communication systems may be inoperable in an emergency, and you should be familiar with what steps to take.
Know how to get out of the area. If you work far from home, plan backups to get home if the usual modes of transit are not operating.
Know the routes to hospitals in your community.
Take a first aid course.
Make a family emergency plan. Remember that family members may be in separate locations at the time of an attack. Use planning tools at ready.gov to prepare yourself and your family,
Designate an “out-of-area” contact, and make sure that everyone in your family has that person’s phone number.
Have an emergency supply kit at work and at home that includes water and non-perishable food to last at least three days, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, flashlights, and batteries.
What to Do During an IED Attack
If you are at the immediate site of an IED attack, your top priority is to get out of the area. This increases your safety in case a secondary device is present in the area and minimizes your exposure to dust, smoke, and any hazardous substances that may have been released as a result of the blast. This also allows emergency responders to find and assist the most critically injured victims.
If you are in a building:
Get under a sturdy table or desk if objects are falling around you.
Exit as quickly as possible, without stopping to retrieve personal possessions or make phone calls. Assist other victims to leave the area if possible. Use stairs instead of elevators. Be aware of weakened floors and stairways, and watch for falling debris as you exit the building.
Once you are out of the building:
Move away from windows, glass doors, or other potentially hazardous areas.
Continue moving away from the blast site and look for emergency officials who will direct you to a safe location.
Be aware that secondary explosions may occur at or near the original bombing site, especially as rescue personnel arrive. Use caution to avoid debris that could be hot, sharp, or cause puncture wounds.
Limit your use of phones and other communications devices as much as possible, because communications systems may become overloaded.
If you become trapped:
Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand to limit inhalation of dust or other hazardous materials. Dense-weave cotton material can act as a good filter.
Avoid unnecessary movement so you don’t kick up dust.
Signal your location to rescuers by using a flashlight or whistle, or by tapping on a pipe or wall.
Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust and drain your energy.
If you are nearby, but not at the immediate site of an attack:
Assess the environment around you before taking any action.
Avoid being lured closer to see what is happening because the risks from secondary attacks or hazardous materials could be extremely high.
Listen for, and follow, instructions from local authorities and building personnel. If no information is immediately available from local officials, stay away from windows and doors and move to an inner area of a building until directed differently by authorities.
If you are in a train, on the subway, or on a bus:
In general, it is best to remain inside the train car unless you are in immediate danger.
Use the communication system on the train car to receive instructions.
If you are in danger and must leave the car, be aware of hazards on the tracks or in the tunnel and move with caution to the nearest station or point where you can contact emergency personnel.
Open windows or doors if possible and if it is safe to do so, because it can reduce the severity and number of injuries from a secondary explosion.
Caring for the injured:
First aid you provide may save lives. The most likely help you may need to provide is to control bleeding. Apply direct pressure to the bleeding site.
Nearby hospitals may be overwhelmed with victims. If you need to transport victims who are not severely injured, go to a hospital that is further from the bombing site.
Examples of Terrorist IED Attacks
Madrid Train Attacks
Ten explosions rocked through four commuter trains during rush hour on March 11, 2004, in Madrid, Spain. The bombs had been made from bags stuffed with explosives, allegedly the explosive known as Goma-2 ECO, and metal fragments; cell phones with timers were used to initiate the explosive devices. The attack, which was carried out by violent Islamist extremists, killed 191 people, and injured more than 1,800.
Boston Marathon Tragedy: Civilians Targets of Double IED
Three people were killed and at least 144 others wounded when two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated at the annual Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts on 15 April. This is what homeland Security says you can/should do about IED attack