Concerns About Anthrax, Biological, and Other Hazards
Updated: December 18, 2007
The City of El Segundo has a low probability for a terrorist attack, despite its population of major businesses and industry, and close proximity to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Nevertheless, the City has several key advantages for being prepared against a terrorist incident. The El Segundo Police Department maintains a Special Operations Unit, which is trained to respond to acts of violence perpetrated by individuals committed to a cause. The City has a full-time Environmental Safety team that can respond and coordinate any potential biological or chemical threat. The City also has a full-time Emergency Services Coordinator. These experts work to ensure that all City staff are trained and prepared to respond instantly to any major emergency. Our community is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone. We remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity and persons to our Police Department.
In the unlikely event of a terrorist attack or threat, the City of El Segundo would respond in full coordination with federal, state, and other local agencies. No individual City or public agency has the resources to respond to a major natural disaster or terrorist incident alone; a successful response is dependent on a joint local/state/federal approach.
Please note the following:
The City of El Segundo will post any information of a credible threat to the community through this website. For questions regarding emergency preparedness, or other concerns, please call the City's Emergency Services Coordinator, Jeffrey Robinson at (310) 524-2252, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Questions And Answers
Dialing 9-1-1 by Cellular Phone in El Segundo: when you have an emergency and need to use 9-1-1 to reach emergency services, please remember your call from any cellular phone will be handled by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) anywhere in California. Therefore, it is essential that you provide the CHP dispatcher with your callback number (310-xxx-xxxx), the city and county where you are calling from ("the City of El Segundo, Los Angeles County'), and the immediate location of your call ("Main Street and Grand Avenue") - this along with the type of emergency you have will ensure you can be called back should the call be disconnected, and immediately aid the dispatcher in routing your emergency call to the proper emergency dispatch center. It is also a good idea to program the City's 7-digit emergency phone number into your cellular phone (310-524-2801) so you can call the dispatch center directly in any emergency. This applies to cellular calls only; otherwise you should always use 9-1-1 to report any emergency!
Should I buy antibiotics? NO - The American Medical Association states, "Taking unnecessary antibiotics contributes to the problem of antibiotic resistance, which is a major public health concern. Overuse of antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant to previously effective antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance causes significant danger and suffering for children and adults who contract infections that were once easily treated with antibiotics."
Should I buy a gas mask? NO - the use of a gas mask may pose a health threat to you and your family. Most military surplus masks have factory defects. Gas masks use several types of particulate filters, and must be fit-tested to each person to be effective. You must carry them with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have the appropriate filter for the type of suspected biological or chemical agent. Several deaths due to suffocation have been reported due to improper use of these devices. The sole use of a gas mask is impractical for civilian protection. Follow the direction of qualified safety personnel if you think you have been exposed.
Know your source.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is actively investigating individuals, companies, and websites that are marketing and selling products claiming to protect against, detect, prevent, or treat biological and chemical agents, including anthrax. Included in the review were such items as gas masks and protective suits; mail sterilizers; biohazard test kits. The FTC provides this advice for consumers: Consult your physician immediately if you believe you may have been exposed to anthrax or any other biological agents." The use of any equipment related to biological or chemical weapons requires expertise, certification, and screening by health professionals to ensure they are safe. Improper use may cause severe injury, disability, and death for the user.
In the event of an emergency, immediately contact 9-1-1. Please note that we are in the flu season. If you or members of your family develop flu like symptoms, it is much more likely to be the flu or related respiratory viruses than anthrax. The general public is at very low risk in developing anthrax disease or illness. If you have a condition requiring medical attention, please contact your physician. The County of Los Angeles Health Department has established an informative website, please visit them for more information.
Suspicious Activity and Behavior
A person's behavior, NOT appearance, makes him or her suspicious. Criminal acts that are motivated because of a person's actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, or disability (physical and/or mental) are illegal. If you are a victim or a witness of a hate crime, call the ESPD at 310-524-2801; if it is a life-threatening situation, call 9-1-1. Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office provides comprehensive information on hate crimes, and its Hate Crime Suppression Unit specializes in the prosecution of these crimes: http://da.co.la.ca.us/hate/default.htm The Federal Bureau of Investigation encourages citizens to leave tips on suspected terrorist activity at: www.ifccfbi.gov.