July 11, 2018

HME Protective Measures
Download the HME Protective Measures informational sheet.
The Threat of Homemade Explosives
The threat of homemade explosives (HMEs) to the U.S. is not new, and it is a threat that is continually evolving. A total of 439 bombing incidents were reported in 2016, an increase of 10 percent from 2015. Of these, 277 were categorized as non-improvised explosive devices (IEDs), defined as commercial, military, fireworks, and HMEs. Seemingly innocuous items that are bought and sold every day, such as pool sanitizers, fertilizers, and paint removers, can be used to make powerful explosives. With the increase in the use of these common consumer goods to make HMEs and IEDs, an educated and proactive public is the key to prevention. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established a national outreach program, the Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP), to provide public awareness and education. BMAP is designed to be integrated into existing state and local outreach and liaison programs, community policing efforts, and private sector security and training programs. Those interested in learning more or launching a BMAP for their community can visit the BMAP website.
Several resources are available to help educate and inform employers, employees, college and university personnel, decision-makers, or anyone who may encounter indicators of HME manufacturing or receive a bomb threat:
  • Homemade Explosives (HME) Protective Measures (PDF): This document offers a list of potential protective measures that can be implemented to reduce risks and vulnerabilities upon encountering energetic and precursors materials.
  • Bomb Threat Stand-Off Card (PDF): This card provides mandatory evacuation, shelter-in-place, and preferred evacuation distances for different threat descriptions and explosives capacities.
  • What To Do - Bomb Threat: A DHS website with a variety of useful resources including:
    • DHS-DOJ Bomb Threat Guidance (PDF): This brochure provides site decision-makers with pre-threat preparation, threat assessment considerations, staff response guidelines, and evacuation and shelter-in-place considerations.
    • Bomb Threat Checklist (PDF): A quick reference checklist designed to help employees and decision-makers of commercial facilities, schools, etc. respond to a bomb threat in an orderly and controlled manner with the first responders and other stakeholders.
    • Bomb Threat Training Video: This video teaches every day citizens how to respond in the event they receive a bomb threat.
Through the Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP), DHS provides a variety of  counter-IED trainings at no cost and develops  counter-IED products for law enforcement, first responders, and the private sector to enhance the security and resilience of the U.S. The direct delivery in-person training courses educate municipal officials and emergency managers, state and local law enforcement and other emergency services, security staff, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and private partners on strategies to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate bombing incidents. A few of the courses offered include the Bomb Threat Management Planning Course (MGT-451) and the Bombing Prevention Awareness Course (AWR-348). Additionally, OBP offers several  Virtual Instructor-Lead (VILT) courses that provide general awareness level counter-IED information, including AWR-338 - Homemade Explosive (HME) and Precursor Awareness (HME-P). A FEMA SID (Federal Emergency Management Agency Student Identification) number is required for all VILT courses and direct delivery in-person trainings.
In addition to these resources and training, DHS, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, developed the  Incident Management Preparedness and Coordination Toolkit (IMPACT), a free laptop planning tool that assists users in evaluating an area impacted by explosive threats. Capabilities include an interactive evacuation program and report generation tool. Read more about how first responders, emergency managers, and other security professionals can use IMPACT for planning, situational awareness, communication, and response to natural and man-made disasters.

Rail Against the Danger
Loft Bed Risks on Campus
The early years of dorm life in a traditional four-year college or university evoke thoughts of roommates, cramped quarters, and often, loft beds. Some institutions of higher education (IHEs) do not offer students guard or safety rails for loft beds, which may be as high as seven feet off the ground.
A study published by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in 2008 examined cases of non-fatal bunk bed-related injuries treated in emergency departments across the U.S. from 1990 though 2005. An average of 36,000 injuries occurred annually with the head/neck and face most likely to be injured. Although children under 10 sustain three-quarters of all bunk bed/loft related injuries, there was an unexpected spike in injuries among those aged 18-21. This spike may be attributed to the high use of bunk and loft beds in higher education settings.
Clark Jacobs was a mechanical engineering student at Georgia Institute of Technology and a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. On the night of January 10, 2015, Clark rolled out of his lofted bed and landed on his head, fracturing his skull. He suffered a severe brain bleed and an ensuing hemorrhagic stroke that required brain surgery to save his life. As Clark began his two-year journey to recover from his traumatic brain injury, his mother, Mariellen, launched Rail Against the Danger (RAD), a nonprofit organization designed to bring awareness to students and their families.
RAD has already made great strides in Georgia. As of January 1, 2017, every public campus was required to supply guard rails free of charge to any student that requested them. In addition, Georgia State and Georgia College ordered and installed rails on all loft beds in partnership with RAD and the University System of Georgia.
You can learn more about RAD's efforts on the RAD website and engage with RAD via Facebook or Twitter.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: What Every Emergency Manager Needs to Know this Hurricane Season
Organization: Emergency Management
Date: July 18, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI)
Organization: National Center for Campus Public Safety
Date: August 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Calming The Fire: Principles for De-escalation and Understanding People
Organization: Public Agency Training Council
Dates: August 30-31, 2018
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Fee: Registration fee

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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