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The duct tape alert refers to the recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on February 10, 2003, that Americans should prepare for a biological, chemical, or radiological terrorist attack by assembling a "disaster supply kit", including duct tape and plastic (presumably to attempt to seal one's home against nuclear, chemical, and biological contaminants), among other items. [1][2][3]

The recommendations came on the heels of an increase in the Department's official threat level to "orange", or "high risk", citing "recent intelligence reports". [4][5]

According to press reports, the recommendations caused a surge in demand for duct tape. [6]

The media sensation surrounding duct tape was fodder for comedians and satirists. Some referred to it as "duct and cover", a reference to duck and cover.

References

  1. ^ "Biological Weapons Fact Sheet". Department of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0083.shtm.  
  2. ^ "Chemical Weapons Fact Sheet". Department of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0084.shtm.  
  3. ^ "Radiological Dispersion Devices Fact Sheet". Department of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0085.shtm.  
  4. ^ "Remarks by Secretary Ridge, Attorney General Ashcroft, and Director Mueller". Department of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/speeches/speech_0088.shtm.  
  5. ^ "Threat Level Raised to Orange". Department of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0087.shtm.  
  6. ^ Meserve, Jeanne (2003-02-11). "Duct tape sales rise amid terror fears". CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/11/emergency.supplies.  

External links

  • "The Smart Way to Be Scared" by Gregg Easterbrook, The New York Times, February 16, 2003. [1] (Registration Required)
  • "Duct Tape and Cover" A spoof on the original Duck and Cover video [2]
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