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Duct tape sales rise amid terror fears

From Jeanne Meserve

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Interactive: Terror warning system 

• Interactive: Threatcon levels
• Transcript: Official announcement
• Special Report: War on Terror

Have on hand  three days' worth of water and food, an emergency supply kit for both home and automobile, radios with extra batteries, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doors
Make a plan for contacting family members in an emergency
Learn about different types of attacks so you will know what to do in an emergency
Do not cancel events or travel plans
Be especially aware of your surroundings and the events happening around you

Source: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and U.S. Fire Administrator David Paulison

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans have apparently heeded the U.S. government's advice to prepare for terror attacks, emptying hardware store shelves of duct tape.

On Tuesday, less than 24 hours after U.S. Fire Administrator David Paulison described a list of useful items, stores in the greater Washington, D.C. area reported a surge in sales of plastic sheeting, duct tape, and other emergency items.

These items, Paulison said, can be helpful after a biological, chemical or radiological attack.

A Lowe's hardware store in Alexandria, Virginia, said every roll of duct tape has been sold. Another Alexandria Home Depot store reported sales of duct tape tripled overnight.

"Everything that was on that newscast, we are selling a lot of it," said Rich Pierce with a Home Depot in the D.C. area.

In his advisory, Paulison recommended that households have on hand three days worth of water and food; an emergency supply kit for both home and automobile; radios with extra batteries; and plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doors. (What to do)

With concerns growing about al Qaeda's interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction, Paulison cautioned that aid after an attack could be hard to come by, at least initially.

He said that in the first 48 to 72 hours of an emergency, many Americans will likely to have to look after themselves.(Red Cross on preparedness)

If an attack occurs, Paulison said, households should tune in to local media outlets and not evacuate unless they are told to do so.

President Bush's Homeland Security Council raised the national threat level from yellow to orange on Friday. Orange indicates a "high" risk of terrorist attack, and yellow indicates an "elevated" risk.

The level was raised in part because of a high amount of "chatter" being intercepted by intelligence agencies.

When the Department of Homeland Security urged Americans on Monday to take steps to prepare for a possible attack, it said the advice was intended not as a "dire" warning but as cautionary advice.

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