Households to get leaflet on terror attacks

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The Independent Online

A leaflet designed to help the public respond to a terrorist attack or civil emergency was officially unveiled by the Government today.

A leaflet designed to help the public respond to a terrorist attack or civil emergency was officially unveiled by the Government today.

The 22–page pamphlet includes details of mass decontaminations after a chemical, biological or radiological attack, basic first aid and guidance on how to prevent a terrorist attack.

All 25 million households in the UK will receive one of the brightly coloured booklets in an £8 million information campaign.

The publication, entitled "Preparing For Emergencies: What You Need To Know", will be distributed to every home over the next few weeks.

It has been written by government officials and experts from the emergency services, MI5 Security Service, the Chief Medical Officer and the Emergency Planning Society.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said: "We have significantly increased the information we have made available to the public over the past three years, particularly through the Home Office, UK Resilience and MI5 websites.

"This booklet reflects another stage in that process of keeping people informed.

"It's not only about what they can do, but about what we as a government are doing to make the UK as safe a place as possible."

One of the principal pieces of advice in the document is "go in, stay in, tunein" - denoting that people should go inside and stay there in the event of anemergency, and listen to local radio or TV.

The booklet, which will be delivered in an A5 envelope addressed to "The Occupier", also includes advice on what to do if your children are at school when an emergency takes place.

It says: "You will naturally want to collect them as soon as possible in the event of a major emergency.

"But it may not be safe to do so.

"Please TUNE IN to your local radio station for advice and for details of the arrangements your local council has made for letting parents know when to collect their children from school."

The leaflet also includes a list of useful items householders should keep at home, including sanitary products, a battery radio, a torch, spare batteries, a first aid kit, a mobile phone, cash and credit cards, spare clothes and blankets, bottled water and tinned food.

Information about the campaign has been sent to all police forces and theAssociation of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) was consulted in the drawing up ofthe plan.

Acpo president Chris Fox said; "We fully support this campaign, which brings together a great deal of existing good advice in a commonsense format.

"The public should be re-assured that, whilst it is not possible or desirable to give detailed advice for every single emergency, as every event is different in some way, basic precautions and pre-planning can pay dividends."In addition, all emergency services have resources and plans to deal with an emergency, whatever its nature.

"The campaign complements a great deal of work the police service is currently undertaking, in liaison with central and local government, the security and intelligence agencies, and the other emergency services, to ensure emergency awareness and prevention remain key factors in everything we do.

"On terrorism in particular, we are clear that the threat remains real and high, but this campaign underlines the importance for all of us of remaining aware and vigilant, without becoming alarmed."