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On the Heels of the Boston Marathon Bombings —How to Prepare for a Terrorist Attack

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and families of those affected by the Boston bombings.

It’s hard to believe our nation is once again dealing with the aftermath of what many (including the White House) consider to be another terrorist attack—a multiple-blast bombing near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Though details continue to come in and will undoubtedly shed light on the nature and background of these bombings, what is currently certain is the fact that three people (including an eight-year-old boy) were killed and at least 176 were injured on Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston.

Of the April 15 event, White House Rep Michael McCaul spoke to Fox News where he called for national unity and repeated the sentiments of President Obama:

“Today, we are not Democrats or Republicans. We are all Americans united against terrorism. Some evidence found at the crime scene, including ball bearings, were signs of well-planned terrorist action. We don’t know who’s behind it at this time and we don’t have all the evidence.”

Unexpected disasters like this have the potential to make Americans nervous about the likelihood of future incidents and their potential impact. But there are things you can proactively do to prepare for the unexpected and thereby reduce the stress associated with the terrorism. In fact, taking preparatory action can actually reassure you and your family, coworkers and tenants that you have a measure of control in the face of future emergencies.

Intelligence and law enforcement agencies reveal that dozens of terrorist plots which focused on commercial buildings have been thwarted over the past several years. As seen in a recent attempt in New York City, the actions of diligent civilians can also prevent catastrophe. Also, common sense and surveillance procedures increase awareness about things that “just don’t look right.”

The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services has devoted considerable blog space over the years to topics relative to preparation and recovery of terrorist attacks. But it seems fitting we should highlight this topic yet again today, since the Boston attack occurred on the day citizens of Massachusetts observe Patriot’s Day, which honors patriots from the Battles of Lexington and Concord—the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.

One of the Allied Universal Training System video courses covers steps to take in the event of a bomb threat. If you have not yet signed up for our system, consider subscribing today, as you and your team will have access to detailed training with videos and quizzes, maps, manuals and plans, forms, lists and guidelines, home and family preparedness, emergency info, active shooter instructions, active shooter videos, area-specific training and applicable area tornado preparedness.

Make your building a less attractive terrorism target:

  • In July 2006, a plot by suicide bombers in the NYC commuter rail was revealed by law enforcement personnel, who stated that the conspirator had already obtained detailed blueprints of the rail tunnels prior to the attack. Secure building blueprints which can be used to establish weak points for entering or destroying the structure. Limit the blueprints availability online and train your property managers to follow proper procedures for releasing building information.
  • Pay special attention to tenants who work with or produce materials that could be used to make explosive devices and those that work in aviation-related fields or construction-related companies. For example, Canadian officials recently investigated an individual who purchased a large quantity of manure that is sometimes used to make fertilizer-based bombs. Work with tenants to ensure they follow safety and securing procedures, for both their intellectual and physical properties.
  • A fundamental way to prevent terrorist attacks is to properly report suspicious activity to stop attacks in the planning stages. In the Allied Universal, Inc. surveillance blog, we talked about identifying suspicious activities but did not explore how to gather and report that activity to law enforcement.


For more about preparation and recovery from any terrorist attack, see Allied Universal How to prepare for acts of terrorism posts.

The best way to combat the dangers of distracted driving is to opt out of the practice even before the law requires it. After all, when a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is an interactive, building-specific e-learning training system which motivates and rewards tenants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES!

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