(Bronstein & Currance, 2004) Countries need to prepare themselves for the possibilities of these occurrences by additional training, emergency response sensitization and mitigation of the effects. The paper shall look at these concepts and others related to terrorism preparedness. The threat of terrorism Before examining emergency responses, it is necessary to check up on some facts surrounding the existence of terrorism within the country.
This will provide a background of the potential that terrorism can cause to the masses. Over the past three decades, a number of terrorist attacks have occurred throughout the world. However, the United States is one of the countries in the western world that has been the object of these terrorist attacks. Statistics show that there have been ten terrorist attacks every decade for the past thirty years. These attacks have not just been restricted to the country but have also been spread out to US embassies worldwide.
Some examples of terrorist attacks that have occurred over the last decade include the bombing of the world trade centre in the year 1993, the Oklahoma bombing of 95, the Atlanta bombings during the 96 Olympics, the 98 bombings in Eastern Africa, the attacks in Yemen and the notorious September eleventh attacks on the world trade centre in 2001. It should be noted that terrorism can be as a result of religious extremism where foreigners target the countrys major buildings or structures. In other scenarios, terrorism may be politically motivated i. e. it may be done by individuals with political intensions.
In other scenarios, terrorism may occur as a result of environmental, animal rights or other philosophies. Usually, the people who engage in the last category of bombing are local terrorists and are usually residing in the target country. An assessment of the countrys level of preparedness There are a series of institutions that need to be included in the process of preparing for biological, nuclear or chemical terrorism. The first group is the homeland security department and the second group is the police force. The latter groups need to be at the forefront of the emergency response actions because terrorism falls under their portfolio.
These institutions need to have adequate personnel that could possibly assist in the process of evacuating affected individuals. Besides this, there should be adequate resources to tackle the emergency. This means that the latter department should have all the equipment necessary to make the transitions of people affected by the disaster as smooth as possible. (Blanchard, 2002) Medical personnel need to be adequately prepared too. They need to have the capacity to handle high numbers of injuries and their personnel should be well trained for this process.
Special emphasis is given to biological terrorism in this case because medical personnel are one of the groups that understand how biological weapons work and are hence at a unique position to assist affected victims. A number of stakeholders in the area of local security have asserted that the country still has much to do with regard to terrorism attacks. It should be noted that the 2001 attacks were an eye opener. However, there are still some things that the country needs to emphasize in order to boost its level of preparedness.