PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: Latest terror alert offers more than color

NEW YORK: When the Bush administration raised the national terror alert level to "orange" from "yellow," something that had been lacking in previous alert upgrade announcements was not missing this time.

NEW YORK: When the Bush administration raised the national terror alert level to "orange" from "yellow," something that had been lacking in previous alert upgrade announcements was not missing this time.

While previous changes in the terror level came without any further instructions, this time the administration pointed people to an in-depth report on emergency preparedness published on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website, www.fema.gov. While A Guide to Citizen Preparedness was always doomed to draw mocking guffaws from those that feel the federal bureaucracy is the last place to look for life-saving advice, the guide itself actually has some seemingly worthwhile common sense suggestions - many of which were noted by the media. Among the pieces of advice given by the report are a suggestion for families to identify two separate meeting places in case of disaster: one near home and the second away from the neighborhood in case home can't be approached. Another heads-up suggestion is that people should learn where the emergency exits are in buildings they frequent. Still, some tips seem extreme, and could foster panic for their sheer lack of actionable advice. "Wherever you are, be aware of your surroundings. The very nature of terrorism suggests there may be little or no warning," reads one section. While another states: "Plan how to get out of a building, subway, or congested public area or traffic. Notice heavy or breakable objects that could move, fall, or break in an explosion." Yet, just as important as any advice the document gives is the fact that it provides citizens at least a small sense of empowerment at a time when such a feeling is in relatively short supply. Previous terror-alert warnings seemed to serve little purpose beyond reminding the country of the new world it now inhabits. At least this time, the administration did its best to provide a guide to go with the reminder.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.