Duct tape alert

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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.


  1. ^ "Biological Weapons Fact Sheet". Department of Homeland Security. 
  2. ^ "Chemical Weapons Fact Sheet". Department of Homeland Security. 
  3. ^ "Radiological Dispersion Devices Fact Sheet". Department of Homeland Security. 
  4. ^ "Remarks by Secretary Ridge, Attorney General Ashcroft, and Director Mueller". Department of Homeland Security. 
  5. ^ "Threat Level Raised to Orange". Department of Homeland Security. 
  6. ^ Meserve, Jeanne (2003-02-11). "Duct tape sales rise amid terror fears". CNN.com. 

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