Man-Made Disasters 

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A man-made disaster results from man-made hazards (threats having an element of human intent, negligence or error, or involving a failure of a man-made system). They differ from natural disasters that result from natural hazards.

Civil Disturbance

Civil Unrest

Any incident that disrupts a community where intervention is required to maintain public safety constitutes a civil disturbance. Some examples are demonstrations, riots, strikes, public nuisances, and criminal activities. Civil disturbance incidences may include resistance or rejection of all different types of control and authority. They tend to occur in areas of concentrated populations including sporting, concert, cultural and conference events. Some areas subject to civil disturbances may include college communities, areas with concentrations of disparate economic status populations and government offices. Some examples of criminal activities associated with civil disturbances may include looting, assault, property or environmental damage, illegal drug use or distribution, fire-setting, vandalism and violation of noise ordinances.


Devastating acts such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. These attacks have raised uncertainty about what might happen next. Terrorism may involve devastating acts using weapons of mass destruction ranging from chemical agents, biological hazards, a radiological or nuclear device, and other explosives. The primary objective of a terrorist is to create widespread fear. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later, should another emergency arise.

The Palm Beach County Terrorism Response Program coordinates with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the United States Department of Homeland Security to ensure that the County‚Äôs terrorism response plan meets all state and federal requirements. Activities integrated in this coordination include planning, training, exercising, critical infrastructure enhancement, inter-agency cooperation, as well as grant identification and expenditure mechanisms to ensure that Palm Beach County has a viable anti-terrorism program that includes cross-agency training and development. 

The program provides local partner agencies with support and technical assistance in order to adequately address their homeland security needs. In addition to the local activities, the program also participates in State and Federal planning groups and task forces.


Before a Terrorist Attack Occurs:

  • Have at least a 5 to 7 day Disaster Supplies Kit assembled.
  • Create a shelter-in-place plan.
  • Create an evacuation plan.

If you Receive a Bomb Threat:

  • Ask the caller the following questions: When is the bomb going to explode? Where is the bomb right now? What kind of bomb is it? What does the bomb look like? Why did you place the bomb? Where are you calling from?
  • Record the exact time and length of the call.
  • Write down the exact words of the caller.
  • Listen carefully to the caller's voice and background noise.
  • After you hang up, call 9-1-1 immediately from a hard-wired telephone. Do NOT use cell phones to report a bomb threat.

If a Terrorism-Related Event Happens:

  • Stay calm and be patient.
  • Listen to a local radio or television station for news and follow the instructions of emergency service personnel.
  • Be vigilant. If the incident occurs near you, look out for secondary hazards such as falling debris or additional attacks.
  • Check for injuries and summon help for seriously injured people.
  • If the incident occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. Do NOT use matches or turn on electrical switches.
  • Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open your windows and get everyone outside.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly, disabled, or who live alone.
  • Only call 9-1-1 about life-threatening emergencies.

National Terrorism Advisory System:

The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). This new system will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation's security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do.

NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.

These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.

The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels.

NTAS Alerts contain a sunset provision indicating a specific date when the alert expires - there will not be a constant NTAS Alert or blanket warning that there is an overarching threat. If threat information changes for an alert, the Secretary of Homeland Security may announce an updated NTAS Alert. All changes, including the announcement that cancels an NTAS Alert, will be distributed the same way as the original alert.
Imminent Threat Alert

Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.
Elevated Threat Alert

Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States