Here's How to be Vigilant in Package Bomb Crisis


So what does it mean when we're asked to be "vigilant" in a crisis or other heightened circumstance -- such as now, in the wake of the recent bomb explosions in Austin that have killed two and injured several other victims:

The Texas Department of Public Safety is offering specifics.

DPS is urging people in all of Texas -- including Houston  -- "to remain vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious activity to authorities."

The announcement was issued Tuesday. 

"If a situation requires an emergency response, call 911," DPS said in an advisory. "Do not  approach any unknown or suspicious packages or items – keep a safe distance and notify the authorities immediately."

People with information related to the recent bomb explosions are urged to contact the TIPS Hotline 512-472-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-893-TIPS (8477).

Tips can also be submitted online via Austin Police Department’s free mobile app (on iPhone and Android).

Individuals who provide information may remain anonymous and could collect reward money. For information about the ongoing investigation and reward money being offered, visit the FBI website.

 Here are some examples of behaviors/activities that Texans anywhere in the state should always report to authorities:

--Package, briefcase, suitcase or backpack is left unattended.

--Strangers asking questions about building security features and procedures.

--Cars or trucks are left in no-parking zones at important buildings.

--Chemical smells or fumes that are unusual for the location.

--People requesting sensitive information, such as blueprints, security plans or VIP travel schedules, without a need to know.

--Purchasing supplies that could be used to make bombs or weapons, or purchasing uniforms without having the proper credentials.

--Taking photographs or videos of security features, such as cameras or checkpoints. 

Texans can report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement or through iWATCH (Texas’ suspicious activity reporting program) – either online or by calling in an anonymous report at 1-844-643-2251.


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