Terrorism is the use of force, fear and/or violence by a person or group to intimidate or coerce societies or governments. Terrorism often has political or ideological motives. These attacks can take many forms and could happen anytime and in any place.

Types of terrorism include:

Throughout human history, there have been many threats to the security of nations. These threats have brought about large-scale losses of life, the destruction of property, widespread illness and injury, the displacement of large numbers of people and devastating economic loss.

Recent technological advances and ongoing political unrest are components of the increased risk to national security.

If a terrorist attack occurs, you will be given instructions from public officials. In the meantime, there are a variety of steps you can take to keep your family safe.

Run. Hide. Fight®

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines an "active shooter" as an "individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area." If you ever find yourself in an active shooter situation, remember to run, hide and (as a last resort) fight.


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.


  • Hide in an area out of the shooter's view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Silence your cell phone.


  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attept to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

WATCH the Run. Hide. Fight. video (source: Ready Houston)

 If You See Something, Say Something

See something say something

If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national campaign to raise public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement. Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping the Whole Community safe.

Public safety is everyone's responsibility. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority.

Describe specifically what you observed, including:

  • Who or what you saw;
  • When you saw it;
  • Where it occurred; and
  • Why it appeared suspicious

Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
  • Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
  • Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.

Some of these activities could be innocent; it's up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. The activities above are not all-inclusive, but have been compiled based on studies of pre-operational aspects of both successful and thwarted terrorist events over several years.

(source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security)