Follow Up After the Attack

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The final phase of the Mass Attacks Defense Toolkit covers follow-up actions after an attack. It covers actions needed to investigate the attack, provide for the wellness of responders and the community, and learn from the incident.

What You Need to Know Now: Post-Attack Priorities

Recommendation 1. Planning and training for those who will be involved in post-attack actions is a necessity—just as it is for the immediate attack response (see Mitigate the Attack). Planning and training needs to involve the full set of partners, including law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services (EMS), hospitals, coroners' offices, offices that are directly responsible for dealing with families and the media, mental health services, community service providers, and public or private entities that manage major venues.

Recommendation 2. There is a common set of actions that agencies and partners should prepare to perform after the attack.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack

  • search for and apprehend attackers (if they are not apprehended or killed on scene)
  • investigate attackers and potential coconspirators or associates
  • provide immediate mental health and emotional support
  • provide for family assistance (and notification) centers and post-event victim welfare
  • communicate with the public and practice public relations
  • conduct near-term debriefs.

Provide health, support, and community services, such as

  • mental health and emotional support for victims and survivors
  • victim services, family assistance, and other long-term services for victims and bystanders
  • mental health and emotional support for first responders
  • long-term responder and family support and services.

In the longer term, plan for recognition and learning

  • plan for recognition: give awards for acts of valor; plan ceremonies for victims and heroes
  • plan memorials and anniversary events or VIP visits
  • write after-action reports.

Next Page in the Post-Attack Phase

The Immediate Aftermath