Acronyms and Glossary of Terms

This section presents a glossary of common homeland security terms and acronyms.


24/7 24 hours day, seven days a week
AAR After-Action Review
ACI Advance Contracting Initiative
ACF Administration for Children and Families
ACS Auxiliary Communications Service
AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
ALOHA Arial Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres
ALS Advanced Life Support
AMC Alternative Medical Center
AMF Alternative Mortuary Facility
AMS Aerial Measuring System
ANG Air National Guard
ANT  Aid to Navigation
AoA Administration on Aging
AOR Area of Responsibility
APWA American Public Works Association
ARC American Red Cross
ARG Accident Response Group
ARES Amateur Radio Emergency Services
ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry
ATTF Anti-Terrorism Task Force
AVMA American Veterinary Medical Association
BIOEVENT Bioterrorist incident or large scale natural event
BL Biosafety Level
BLM Bureau of Land Management
BMC Baltimore Metropolitan Council
BTF Bioterrorism Task Force
BWI Baltimore Washington International Airport
BW-IRP Biological Weapons Improved Response Program
BRAC Base Realignment and Closure
BSI Base Support Installation
BW Biological Warfare
CAC Citizens Advisory Committee
CACRT Capital Area Crises Response Team
CAMEO Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations
CAO Chief Administrative Officer
CAP Corrective Action Program
CAPWIN Capital Wireless Integrated Network
CAR Capability Assessment for Readiness
CATS Consequence Assessment Tool Set
CB Citizen Band
CBIRF Chemical Biological Incident Response Force
CBRN Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear
CBRNE Chemical and Biological Agents and Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Devices
CCRF Commissioned Corps Readiness Force
CCTV Closed Circuit Television
CDBG Community Development Block Grant
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDRG Catastrophic Disaster Response Group
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
CERSC Corps of Engineers Readiness Support Center
CERT Community Emergency Response Team
CHP Certified Health Physicist
CIA Central Intelligence Agency
CIAO Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office
CIH Certified Industrial Hygienist
CINC Commander in Chief
CIRA Catastrophic Incident Response Annex
CISM Critical Incident Stress Management
CJTF Civil Joint Task Force
CLRP Constrained Long-Range Plan
CMC Crises Management Center
CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CMT Consequence Management Center
CNN Cable News Network
COG Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
COGMARS Council of Governments Mutual Aid Radio System
Comp Grant Comprehensive Grant Program
CONPLAN U. S. Government Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan
CONUS Continental United States
CONUSA Continental United States Army
COOP Continuity of Operations Plan
CPOC  Chief Purchasing Officers Committee
CPX Command Post Exercise
CSEPP Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program
CSG Council of State Governments
CWA Clean Water Act
DAE Disaster Assistance Employee
DARPA Defense Advance Research Projects Agency
DART Disaster Assistance Recovery Team
DC District of Columbia
DCA Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
DC EMA District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency
DCHA District of Columbia Hospital Association
DCO Defense Coordination Officer
DCS Disaster Communications Service
DCSOPS Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations
DCWASA District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority
DDOT District Department of Transportation
DETF Disaster Emergency Task Force
DFA Direct Federal Assistance
DFC Disaster Finance Center
DFO Disaster Field Office
DHHS U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
DHS U.S. Department of Homeland Security
DHS ONCRC U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of the National Capital Region Coordination
DIA Defense Intelligence Agency
DJTF Disaster Joint Task Force
DMAT Disaster Medical Assistance Team
DMORT Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team
DMV Department of Motor Vehicles
DOC Department Operations Center
DOD U.S. Department of Defense
DOD-GEIS Department of Defense – Global Emerging Infectious
DOE U.S. Department of Energy
DOH Department of Health
DOJ U.S. Department of Justice
DOL U.S. Department of Labor
DOT U. S. Department of Transportation
DPMU Disaster Portable Morgue Unit
DPW Department of Public Works
DRP District Response Plan
DSCA Defense Support of Civilian Authorities
DTE Disaster Temporary Employee
DTOS Deployable Tactical Operating Center
EAS Emergency Alert System
EBS Emergency Broadcast System
ECA Evaluation and Corrective Action
ECC Emergency Communications Center
ECOT U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Communications and Outreach Team
ECS Emergency Communications Service
ED Emergency Department
EDA U. S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
EDD Economic Development Districts
EEI Essential Elements of Information
EFO Emergency Field Office
EICC Emergency Information and Coordination Center
EMA District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency
EMAC Emergency Management Assistance Compact
EMI Emergency Management Institute
EMS Emergency Medical Services
EMT Emergency Medical Technician
ENGLink USACE Emergency Information Center
ENCOMPAS Enhanced Consequence Management Planning and Support
EO Executive Order
EOC Emergency Operations Center
EOP Emergency Operations Plan
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPAC Energy Policy Advisory Committee
EPAERT U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Emergency Response Team
EPARERT U. S. Environment Protection Agency’s Radiological Emergency Response Team
EPC Emergency Preparedness Council
EPCRA Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
EP&R Emergency Preparedness and Response
EPW Exercise Planning Workshop
ER Emergency Response
ERRO Emergency Response and Recovery Office
ERT Emergency Response Team
ERT-A Emergency Response Team-Advance Element
ERT-N Emergency Response Team-National
ESF Emergency Support Function
ESF - 1 Transportation
ESF - 2 Communications
ESF – 3 Public Works & Engineering
ESF – 4 Firefighting
ESF – 5 Information & Planning
ESF – 6 Mass Care
ESF – 7 Resource Management
ESF – 8 Health & Medical Services
ESF – 9 Urban Search & Rescue
ESF – 10 Hazardous Materials
ESF – 11 Food
ESF – 12 Energy
ESFLG Emergency Support Function Leadership Group
ESP Essential Service Protection
ESSENCE Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification
of Community-based Epidemics
ESSO Executive Support Staff Officer
EST Emergency Support Team
EWB Electronic Watchboard
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FAC Family Assistance Center
FACS Foundation of American Communications
FAO Federal Approving Officer
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI HMRU FBI , Laboratory Division, Hazardous Materials Response Unit
FBI OSC FBI, On-scene Coordinator
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FCO Federal Coordinating Officer
FCWA Fairfax County Water Authority
FDA Federal Drug Administration
FECC Federal Emergency Communications Coordinator
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FIRST Federal Incident Response Support Team
FMARS Fire Mutual Aid Response System
FNS Food and Nutrition Service
FOG Field Operations Guide
FOIA Freedom of Information Act
FOSC Federal On Scene Coordinator
FOUO For Official Use Only
FPC Federal Preparedness Circulars
FRERP Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee
FRMAC Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center
FRP Federal Response Plan
FRPCC Federal Radiological Preparedness Coordinating Committee
FSE Full-Scale Exercise
FSX Federal Scale Exercise
FTA Federal Transit Administration
FTS Federal Telecommunications System
FUDS Formerly Used Defense Sites
FUSRAP Formerly Used Sites Remedial Action Program
GETS Government Emergency Telecommunications Service
GIS Geographical Information System
GMRS General Mobile Radio System
GPS Global Positioning System
GSA General Services Administration
GWBOT Greater Washington Board of Trade
HAZMAT Hazardous Material
HCC Health Care Coalition
HEICS Hospital Emergency Incident Command System
HEPA High Efficiency Particulate
HHS U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
HIRA Hazardous Identification and Risk Assessment
H-MARS Hospital Municipal Aid Radio System
HOME Home Investment partnership
HP Health Physicist
HPAC Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability
HP Tech Health Physicist Technician
HQ Headquarters
HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration
HSAS Homeland Security Advisory System
HSC Homeland Security Council
HSC/DC Homeland Security Deputies Committee
HSC/PC Homeland Security Principals Committee
HSC/PCC Homeland Security Policy Coordination Committee
HSEEP Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
HSOC Homeland Security Operations Center
HSPD Homeland Security Presidential Directive
HTRW-CX Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste, Center of Expertise
HUD U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
IAAT Independent Assistance and Assessment Team
IAD Washington Dulles International Airport
IAIP Department of Homeland Security, Infrastructure Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate
IAP Incident Action Plan
IC Incident Commander
IC or UC Incident Command or Unified Command
ICD-9 Codes International Classification of Disease Codes
ICMA International City/County Management Association
ICP Incident Command Post
ICPRB Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
ICS Incident Command System
ID Identification
IDIQ Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity
IED Improvised Explosive Device
IFO Initial Operating Facility
IHS Indian Health Service
IIMG Interagency Incident Management Guide
ILS Influenza-like Syndrome
IMAT Incident Management Action Team
IMS Incident Management System
IMT Incident Management Team
IND Improvised Nuclear Device
INRP Initial National Response Plan
INS Immigration and Naturalization Service
IOM Institute of Medicine
IP Improvement Plan
IRE Institute of Regional Excellence
IRP Installation Restoration Program
IRR Initial Response Resources
ISAC Information Sharing and Analysis Center
ISCORS Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards
ITS Intelligent Transportation Systems
JCAHO Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
JDOMS Joint Directorate of Military Support, Department of Defense
JFO Joint Field Office
JIC Joint Information Center   
JIS Joint Information System
JTF-CS Joint Task Force Civil Support
JTTF Joint Terrorism Task Force
LCSA Loudoun County Sanitation Authority
LEPC Local Emergency Planning Committee
LFA Lead Federal Agency
LGPA Local Government Personnel Association
LNO Liaison Officer
MA Mission Assignment
MAA Mutual Aid Agreement
MACA Military Assistance to Civil Authorities
MARC Maryland Area Rail Commuter
MATTS Mobile Air Transportation Telecommunications System
MARLAP Multi-Agency Radiation Laboratory Analytical Protocols
MARSSIM Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual
MCF Movement Coordination Function
MCI Mass Casualty Incident
MCMT Mobilization Center Management Team
MD State of Maryland
MDE Maryland Department of the Environment
MDOT Maryland Department of Transportation
MDUSGS Maryland United States Geologic Survey
MDW Military District of Washington
ME Medical Examiner
MECC Mobile Emergency Communications Center
MEEP Medical Examiner Expansion Program
MEMA Maryland Emergency Management Agency
MERS Mobile Emergency Response Support
MFIP Multiple Fatality Incident Plan
MIPT Memorial Institute for Prevention of Terrorism
MML Maryland Municipal League
MMRS Metropolitan Medical Response System
MMRT Metropolitan Medical Response Team
MMS Minerals Management Service
MOA Memorandum of Agreement
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MPDC Metropolitan Police Department
MRE Meals Ready to Eat
MREP Medical Response Expansion Program
MSC Major Subordinate Command
MSCA Military Support to Civilian Authorities
MSEL Master Scenario Events List
MSLO Military Support Liaison Officer
MSO U. S. Coast Guard, Marine Safety Office
MTF Military Treatment Facility
MTA Maryland Transit Administration
MWAA Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
MWAQC Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee
MWCOG Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
MWPHAC Metropolitan Washington Public Health Assessment Center
NAE National Academy of Engineering
NAIC National Infrastructure Advisory Council
NAME National Association of Medical Examiners
NARAC National Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability
NARC National Association of Regional Councils
NAS National Academy of Sciences
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASAR National Association of Search and Rescue
NAWAS National Area Warning System
NBC Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
NCERT National Center-Terrorism Evidence Response Team
NCP National Contingency Plan
NCR National Capital Region
NCRP National Capital Region Weapons of Mass Destruction Incident Contingency Plan
NCRRS National Capital Region Radio System
NCS National Communications System
NDMS National Disaster Medical System
NDPO National Domestic Preparedness Office (FBI)
NEMA National Emergency Management Association
NEOC National Emergency Operations Center
NEOT National Emergency Operations Team
NEST Nuclear Emergency Support Team
NFIP National Flood Insurance Program
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
NG National Guard
NGO Nongovernmental Organization
NIA National Security Agency
NIAC National Interagency Advisory Council
NIH National Institutes of Health
NIMS National Incident Management System
NIPC National Infrastructure Protection Center
NIRT National Incident Response Team
NMRI Naval Medical Research Institute
NMRT National Medical Response Team
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NORTHCOM Northern Command
NOVA National Organization of Victim Assistance
NPDRS National Plant Disease Recovery System
NPS National Park Service
NPS National Pharmaceutical Stockpile
NRC National Research Council
NRC National Response Center
NRCC National Response Coordination Center
NRP National Response Plan
NRS National Response System
NRT National Response Team
NSA National Security Agency
NSC National Security Council
NSD National Security Directive
NSEP National Security Emergency Preparedness
NS/EP National Security and Emergency Plan
NSF National Strike Force
NSFCC National Strike Force Coordination Center
NVS National Veterinary Stockpile
NWS National Weather Service
OA Operating Administrators
OCME Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
OCONUS Outside the Continental United States
OCS Outer Continental Shelf
ODP Office of Domestic Preparedness
OECA Office of Enforcement, Compliance, and Assurance (EPA)
OEPC Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance
OEPPR Office of Prevention, Preparedness and Response
OERR Office of Emergency and Remedial Response
OHS Office of Homeland Security
OJP Office of Justice Programs
ONCRC Office of National Capital Region Coordination
ONP Office of National Preparedness
OPCON Operational Control
OPM Office of Personnel Management
OPTC Outpatient Treatment Center
ORIA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air
OSC On-Scene Coordinator
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OTC Over The Counter
PA Public Assistance
PAG Protective Action Guide
PAO Public Affairs Office
PDD Presidential Decision Directive
PDM Pre-Disaster Mitigation
PFO Principal Federal Official
PHL Public Health Laboratory
PIO Public Information Officer
PL Public Law
PMARS Police Mutual Aid Response System
POC Point of Contact
POD Point of Dispensing
POLREP Pollution Report
POMSO Planning, Operations, and Military Support Officer
POTC Personnel Officer’s Technical Committee
POTS Plain Old Telephone Services
PPE Personal Protective Equipment
PRT Planning and Response Team
PSC Progress Support Center
PSI Proliferation Security Initiative
PSMI Pre-Scripted Mission Assignment
PVO Private Voluntary Organizations
PWCSA Prince William County Service Authority
QA/QA Quality Assurance/Quality Control
RAC Regional Assistance Committee
RACES Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services
RAMP Remedial Action Management Plan
RAP Remedial Action Plan
RCO Regional Coordinating Officer
RD Regional Director
RDD Radiological Dispersion Device
RDT&E Research, Development, Test, & Evaluation
REAC/TS Radiological Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site
R&D Research and Development
REACT Radio Emergency Associate Communications Teams
RECP Regional Emergency Coordination Plan
rem Roentgen Equivalent Man
REP Radiological Emergency Preparedness
R-ESF Regional Emergency Support Function
R-ESF#1 Transportation
R-ESF#2 Communications Infrastructure
R-ESF#3 Public Works and Engineering
R-ESF#4  Fire, Technical Rescue, and Hazardous Materials Operations
R-ESF#5 Information and Planning
R-ESF#6 Mass Care
R-ESF#7 Resource Support
R-ESF#8 Health, Mental Health, and Medical Services
R-ESF#9 Technical Rescue (Combined in R-ESF 4)
R-ESF#10 Hazardous Materials (Combined in R- ESF 4)
R-ESF#11 Food
R-ESF#12 Energy
R-ESF#13 Law Enforcement
R-ESF#14 Media Relations and Community Outreach
R-ESF#15 Donations and Volunteer Management
RESTAT Resources Status
RFA Request for Federal Assistance
RICCS Regional Incident Communication and Coordination
RICS Regional Intelligence Centers
RNA Rapid Needs Assessment
ROSS Resource Ordering and Status System
RRCC Regional Response Coordination Center
RR-CX Rapid Response Center of Expertise
RRR Readiness, Response, and Recovery
RRT Regional Response Team
RRW Regional Readiness Workshop
RSAN Roam Secure Alert Network
RSC Readiness Support Center
RSL Remote Storage Location
RSPA Research and Special Program Administration
RSST Radiation Safety Support Team
RTNDA Radio-Television News Directors Association
SAC Special Agent in Charge
SADR Standardized Ambulatory Data Record
SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SARS Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SBA Small Business Administration
SBCCOM U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command
SCO State Coordinating Officer
SDO Standards Development Organization
SERC State Emergency Response Commission
SHA State Highway Administration
SIOC Strategic Information and Operations Center (FBI)
SIP State Implementation Plan – Air Quality
SITMAN Situation Manual
SITREP Situation Report
SLS Senior Leader Seminar
SMA Statewide Mutual Aid
SME Subject Matter Expert
SNS Strategic National Stockpile
SO Safety Officer
SOP Standard Operating Procedure
SPC Sentinel Pharmaceutical Center
SPG Senior Policy Group
S&T Science and Technology
STARC State Area Command
STEO Special Traffic Enforcement Officer
SVC Sentinel Veterinarian Clinic
TAG The Adjutant General
Task Force Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force
TBD To Be Determined
TEU Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit
The Task Force Presidential Task Force on Citizen Preparedness in the War on Terrorism
TIP Transportation Improvement Plan
TISP The Infrastructure Security Partnership
TOPOFF Top Officials Exercise
TPB Transportation Planning Board
TPFDD Time-phased Force Deployment Document
TPFDL Time-phased Force Deployment List
TSA Transportation Security Administration
TSP Telecommunications Service Priority
TTIC Terrorist Threat Integration Center
TTX Table Top Exercise
UAHSS Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy
UASI Urban Area Security Initiative
UC Unified Command
UPWP Unified Planning Work Program
US United States
USAMRIID U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious
USCG U.S. Coast Guard
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDHS U.S. Department of Homeland Security
USDOT U.S. Department of Transportation
USFS  U. S. Forestry Service
USNG CST U. S. National Guard Civil Support Team
USNRC U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
USPHS/EOP U.S. Public Health Service Office of Emergency
USPP U.S. Park Police
US&R Urban Search and Rescue
VA Commonwealth of Virginia
VA Veterans Affairs
VAW Virginia American Water
VDEM Virginia Department of Emergency Management
VDEQ Virginia Department of Emergency Quality
VDOT Virginia Department of Transportation
VDRPT Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation
VEE Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis
VMAT Veterinary Medical Assistance Team
VMI Vendor Managed Inventory
VML Virginia Municipal League
VOAD Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters
VRE Virginia Railway Express
VRERP Virginia Radiological Emergency Response Plan
WAD Washington Aqueduct Division
WAWAS Washington Area Warning Alert System
WMATA Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction
WMD-CST Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team
WSSC Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission


Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES)—A public service organization of licensed amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment to provide emergency communications for public service events as needed.

Capital Wireless Integrated Network (CapWIN)—A project managed by the University of Maryland, Engineering Center for Advanced Transportation Technology, demonstrating interoperability related to data sharing among public safety agencies in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia.

Consequence Management—Measures taken to protect public health and safety, restore essential government services, and provide emergency relief to governments, businesses, and individuals affected by the consequences of terrorism. State and local governments exercise primary authority to respond to the consequences of terrorism. (Source: Federal Response Plan Terrorism Incident Annex, page TI-2, April 1999.)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been designated the lead federal agency (LFA) for consequence management to ensure that the Federal Response Plan is adequate to respond to terrorism. Additionally, FEMA supports the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in crisis management.

Contingency Plan—Targets a specific issue or event that arises during the course of disaster operations and presents alternative actions to respond to the situation.

Council of Governments (COG)—The Metropolitan Washington COG is a regional organization of 19 metropolitan Washington area local government’s surrounding the nations capital, plus area members of the Maryland and Virginia legislatures, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives

Crisis Management—Predominantly a law enforcement function that includes measures to identify, acquire, and plan the resources needed to anticipate, prevent, and/or resolve a threat of terrorism. The FBI is the LFA for crisis management for such an incident. (Source: FBI.)

During crisis management, the FBI coordinates closely with local law enforcement authorities to provide successful law enforcement resolution to the incident. The FBI also coordinates with other federal authorities, including FEMA. (Source: FRP Terrorism Incident Annex, April 1999)

CONPLAN—U.S. Government Interagency Domestic Terrrorism Concept of Operations Plan. The CONPLAN was designed to provide overall guidance to federal, state, and local agencies concerning how the federal government would respond to a potential or actual terrorist threat or incident, particularlly one involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Six federal agencies are signatories to the plan: Department of Justice, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The CONPLAN was created to implement Presidential Decision Directive 39 (1995), which sets forth U.S. policy on counter-terrorism.

Emergency—As defined in the Stafford Act, an emergency is any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, federal assistance is needed to supplement state and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property, public health, and safety, and includes emergencies other than natural disasters.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)—A system established by the FCC in November of 1994 to replace the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) as a tool the President and others might use to warn the public about emergency situations.

Emergency Broadcast System (EBS)—A system replaced by the EAS that was composed of AM, FM, and TV broadcast stations; low-power TV stations; and non-government industry entities operating on a voluntary, organized basis during emergencies at national, state, or operational (local) area levels.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)—A secure location to determine situational status, coordinate actions, and make critical decisions during emergency and disaster situations.

Federal Response Plan (FRP)—The FRP establishes a process and structure for the systematic, coordinated, and effective delivery of federal assistance to address the consequences of any major disaster or emergency declared under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended (42 U.S. Code [USC], et seq.). The FRP Terrorism Incident Annex defines the organizational structures used to coordinate crisis management with consequence management. (Source: FRP Terrorism Incident Annex, April 1999.)

Incident Command System (ICS)—A model for disaster response that calls for the use of common terminology, modular organization, integrated communications, unified command structure, action planning, manageable span-of-control, pre-designated facilities, and comprehensive resource management.

Homeland Security—A concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the
United States, to reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recovery from attacks that do occur. (National Strategy for Homeland Security, 2002.)

Major Disaster—As defined under the Stafford Act, any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under this Act to supplement the efforts and available resources of states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.

Mitigation—Those actions (including threat and vulnerability assessments) taken to reduce the exposure to and detrimental effects of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incident.

Preparedness—Establishing the plans, training, exercises, and resources necessary to achieve readiness for all hazards, including WMD incidents.

Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN)—Joint Department of Justice and Department of Treasury program that promotes federal and local government communications interoperability and sponsors innovative pilot projects.

Shelter in Place—To stay where one is in the event of an emergency. Requires that people stay inside a building away from windows. All windows and air intake systems should be closed. Wet towels or tape may be used to seal cracks. If there is a danger of explosion windows should be covered.

Satellite-Based Technology—Communication systems that are not prone to the same outages as terrestrially based systems.

Terrorism—The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. Domestic terrorism involves groups or individuals who are based and operate entirely within the United States and U.S. territories without foreign direction and whose acts are directed at elements of the U.S. government or population.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)—Any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas; bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than 4 ounces; missile having an explosive incendiary charge of more than 0.25 ounce; mine or device similar to the above; weapon involving a disease organism; or weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life. (Source: 18 USC 2332a as referenced in 18 USC 921.)