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    Default Capitol and Whitehose Briefly Evacuated

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An apparent airspace violation over Washington on Wednesday prompted evacuations of the White House and the U.S. Capitol as military fighter jets scrambled to intercept an unidentified aircraft.

    An all-clear announcement was issued about 15 minutes after the alert.

    "Run, this is no joke, leave the grounds," a U.S. Secret Service agent told CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said it had tracked an unidentified aircraft that apparently violated airspace over the White House.

    Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw said he heard two F-16 jets and saw them circle a single-engine airplane and fire warning flares. The jets then seemed to direct the small aircraft away from the downtown Washington area, Shaw said.

    Malveaux said a motorcade of six or seven cars left the White House during the evacuation. President Bush was not at the White House at the time. He was on a bike ride with a security detail, officials said.

    CNN Congressional Correspondent Joe Johns said members of the Senate were evacuated from the Senate floor while it was in session.

    The Secret Service gave the all-clear at the White House minutes after the incident, and allowed journalists to return to the executive mansion.

    -CNN

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    it was fun, nice to get in the sun
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    It is very nice outside today. Besides it was noon and time for lunch!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    I don't know why this is breakign news. It happens quite frequently I think.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Originally posted by nmfire
    I don't know why this is breakign news. It happens quite frequently I think.
    not to this extent, the last real evacuation was during Reagan's funeral, almost a year ago.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    The area around the White House and Capitol Hill are no fly zones for everything other than military aircraft from ground level to an altitude of 18,000 feet. They are well marked on all of the aeronautical charts.

    from the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association's website)
    A Cessna 150 based at Smoketown Airport (S37) in Pennsylvania strayed into prohibited airspace over Washington, D.C., today, causing evacuations of the White House, Capitol, and Supreme Court.

    The airplane reportedly flew into restricted airspace, turned and left the airspace, then returned. It was escorted to Frederick Municipal Airport, site of AOPA headquarters, by Marshals Service and Air Force aircraft where it landed shortly before 1 p.m.

    Although little was immediately known about the aircraft's occupants, one of the two men on board was a student pilot and a member of the 10-person flying club that owns the airplane.

    Merv King, also a member of the flying club, said he was certain that the airspace incursion was unintentional.

    "I know these people. Not one of them would do anything to harm anyone," King said.

    The men exited the aircraft at gunpoint before being handcuffed and detained for questioning by the Secret Service. It was not immediately clear what, if any, charges would be filed against the men. Both men were reportedly cooperating with authorities.

    The aircraft was detained on the runway at Frederick while a bomb-sniffing dog was called to the scene. Lt. Ken Hasenei of the Maryland State Police, who described the use of a bomb dog as a "routine precaution," said the aircraft had been searched and there was no reason to believe it contained explosives. The aircraft was later towed to a tiedown at Frederick.

    Two F-16s dropped four warning flares in the path of the airplane in an effort to divert it, according to NBC News. The pilot reportedly told officials his radio was not working.
    By the same token, the area is known to be a no fly zone, and the pilot should have checked the NOTAMS (notices to airmen) or better yet, have them tattooed to the inside of his eyelids!

    Here is a graphic from the MSNBC webbsite that is a somewhat accurate depiction of the DC no fly zone...

    Aircraft landing at Reagan National Airport must follow a very specific flight path for the appropriate runways being used. Any deviations will be intercepted by the F-16's out of Andrews AFB.
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    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Hmmm I'll be in that area on 22 May - they musta heard I was com'n and wanted to make sure all 'exits were clear and available'.
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    Saw this on the news, glad everything and everyone's okay.
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    Glad everyone is okay?! it was a tiny little plan. I think if the pilot carried a jerry can of fuel on board with him maybe someone might have gotten an eyebrow singed. Though granted i suppose a terrorist could have had a bomb onboard.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    Yeah, that everyone is okay meaning nothing serious happened...

    You Americans really play up on the drama because on the news it sounded serious to me.
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    Its not just the Americans, the media all over the world play up the drama and make it seem a lot worse then it really is.
    (dont get me started on the media manipulating stupid people again)
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    While the REAL terrorists sit back and laugh. They don't even need to attack anymore....
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    Though granted i suppose a terrorist could have had a bomb onboard.
    Who cares about bombs? We all know the real threats in planes are items such as cigarette lighters and nail files.
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    I love how you get given plastic knives on airliners, but they give you metal forks.

    Damn! my plastic knife wont cut your thick airhostess neck! What ever will i do?!
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    You Americans really play up on the drama
    because on the news it sounded serious to me.
    No Dear, the MEDIA plays up the Drama. I don't care if you are in Ney York or New Delhi. The news media trumps up everything to try and get a reactionary jump in thier ratings for the moment.

    I was home watching this unfold yesterday and almost lost my bladder laughing at the local news stations in this area. I live less than one mile from Andrews AFB and knew something was going on...it's a tad unusual to hear F-16's shooting off in full afterburner at 12PM.

    Personally, I think the government is wasting tax dollars when they have knee-jerk reactions to these situations.
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    A few of my thoughts...

    I don't really think anyone felt "terror" per se yesterday. The people I saw skipping the building didn't look scared. They were just hurrying as all the cops told them to. I hurry out when a fire alarm goes off, but I know most of the time it's bogus. I think the American public is more that way every day with the terrorist stuff.

    I watched the story on CNN with the ever-so-monotone Wolf Blitzer, and neither he nor Malveaux nor Johns sounded dramatic to me. I think it was a newsworthy story.

    And as far as the plane being "just a Cessna", a Cessna 150 fully loaded with fuel can have about 474 pounds of payload, from what I've found on the internet. That leaves about 274 pounds even with a stocky pilot. That's a lot of explosives. The time for shrugging it off as "just a Cessna" has passed. No need to go shooting down boneheaded rookie pilots, but everything deserves notice.

    Finally, I wouldn't call it a "knee-jerk reaction". If a Cessna with 200 pounds of C4 had nose-dived into the West Wing despite being detected on radar, a lot of the same people would have squawked that we should have been more vigilant. You can't have it both ways, and I'm in favor of erring on the side of caution.
    Last edited by EastKyFF; 05-12-2005 at 10:52 AM.
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    Originally posted by EastKyFF
    A few of my thoughts...

    I don't really think we had a terror response to the thing. The people I saw skipping the building didn't look scared. They were just hurrying as all the cops told them to. I hurry out when a fire alarm goes off, but I know most of the time it's bogus. I think the American public is more that way every day with the terrorist stuff.

    I watched the story on CNN with the ever-so-monotone Wolf Blitzer, and neither he nor Malveaux nor Johns sounded dramatic to me. I think it was a newsworthy story.

    And as far as the plane being "just a Cessna", a Cessna 150 fully loaded with fuel can have about 474 pounds of payload, from what I've found on the internet. That leaves about 274 pounds even with a stocky pilot. That's a lot of explosives. The time for shrugging it off as "just a Cessna" has passed.
    The Cessna should not have been shruged off, but when it was ID's as such folks were a lot safer in the buildings then on the street. You are not giong to get the explosives packed into a Cessna in a manner that will distroy any of the buildings of the Capitol Complex or the White House Compound. A decade or two ago a Cessna flew full throttle into the White House and essentially bounced off.

    Belive me, there was serious panic on many staffers' and Members' mind, particularly when the F-16's raced over head just as the alarm sounded, on a day with the sky as clear as it was on 9/11.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    That's a good point. Maybe a "shelter-in-place" protocol might need to be developed, if there's visual or radar confirmation that it's a smaller plane.

    It's an inexact science. I think we'll see processes continue to improve, just as I know folks inside the beltway and in other critical areas will continue to become more comfortable with the occasional miscues.

    I'm very proud to live in the state whose governor's plan provided the first "oh-sh**" moment of the no-fly era. Ernie is mostly traveling by goat cart these days, I think.
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    The air traffic controllers knew it was a small plane by the transponder. Fedral Aviation Regulations require any aircraft that will be operating within 30 nautical miles (36 statute miles) of Clas B airspace be equipped with a transponder capable of transmitting the aircraft's registration number as well as the altitude the aircraft is flying at. The Class B airspace extends from ground level to 10,000 feet above mean sea level. The following airports are class B airspace:

    Atlanta, Georgia (ATL)
    Boston, Massachusetts (BOS)
    Chicago, Illinois (ORD)
    Dallas, Texas (DFW)
    Los Angeles, California (LAX)
    Miami, Florida (MIA)
    Newark, New Jersey (EWR)
    New York, New York (JFK)
    New York, New York (LGA)
    San Francisco, California (SFO)
    Washington, D.C. (DCA)
    Andrews AFB, Maryland


    Some people may think it was an overaction, however...consider the following scenario...

    A terrorist with a "backpack nuke" smuggled into the United States
    steals a Piper Warrior and flies into the DC area. The aircraft is not squawking the transponder code nor is responding to the radio transmissions on the emergency "guard" frequency, but is picked up on the terminal radars and well as the radars at the ARTCC (air route traffic control center) covering the DC area.

    He does not have to crash the plane to wreak havoc. The bomb can be set to detonate when the pilot descends to a predetermined altitude. A small backback nuke detonated in an airburst can do a significant amount of damage.

    Does anyone remember a young West German pilot named Matthias Rust?

    He landed a Cessna in the middle of Red Square in Moscow in the early 1987s... he managed to penetrate one of the world's most intense air defense system during the cold war and even buzzed Lenin's tomb.

    It can be done... and that's why the threat is taken seriously.
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    Question

    What happen to the plane that struck the Pentagon? No part of the plane was ever found???



    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    The air traffic controllers knew it was a small plane by the transponder. Fedral Aviation Regulations require any aircraft that will be operating within 30 nautical miles (36 statute miles) of Clas B airspace be equipped with a transponder capable of transmitting the aircraft's registration number as well as the altitude the aircraft is flying at. The Class B airspace extends from ground level to 10,000 feet above mean sea level. The following airports are class B airspace:

    Atlanta, Georgia (ATL)
    Boston, Massachusetts (BOS)
    Chicago, Illinois (ORD)
    Dallas, Texas (DFW)
    Los Angeles, California (LAX)
    Miami, Florida (MIA)
    Newark, New Jersey (EWR)
    New York, New York (JFK)
    New York, New York (LGA)
    San Francisco, California (SFO)
    Washington, D.C. (DCA)
    Andrews AFB, Maryland


    Some people may think it was an overaction, however...consider the following scenario...

    A terrorist with a "backpack nuke" smuggled into the United States
    steals a Piper Warrior and flies into the DC area. The aircraft is not squawking the transponder code nor is responding to the radio transmissions on the emergency "guard" frequency, but is picked up on the terminal radars and well as the radars at the ARTCC (air route traffic control center) covering the DC area.

    He does not have to crash the plane to wreak havoc. The bomb can be set to detonate when the pilot descends to a predetermined altitude. A small backback nuke detonated in an airburst can do a significant amount of damage.

    Does anyone remember a young West German pilot named Matthias Rust?

    He landed a Cessna in the middle of Red Square in Moscow in the early 1987s... he managed to penetrate one of the world's most intense air defense system during the cold war and even buzzed Lenin's tomb.

    It can be done... and that's why the threat is taken seriously.
    After yesterday, IF terrorist somehow could get there hands on a "suitcase nuke", they are not going to risk it being knocked out before hitting their intended target. They are going to drive or walk it right up Constitution Ave to the Capitol, or walk across Lafeyette Park and set it off as the presidential motorcade drives by on Pennsylvania Ave, or place it in an Igloo cooler as they pull up to the Superbowl to tailgate.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Originally posted by DennisTheMenace
    They are going to drive or walk it right up Constitution Ave to the Capitol, or walk across Lafeyette Park and set it off as the presidential motorcade drives by on Pennsylvania Ave, or place it in an Igloo cooler as they pull up to the Superbowl to tailgate.
    And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the key to the entire problem with terrorism. Not to mention that to only suggest that someone might do something of the sort is a mild form of terrorism in itself. Terrorism by another name is still "Terrorism".
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Just a little more to my earlier comments:

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    Contact PS April 2004ONLINE EXCLUSIVE
    It's been nearly 10 years since a bomb ripped through the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and almost four years since the devastating terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In this online exclusive from ASSE's Professional Safety journal, disaster response expert Michael J. Fagel--who responded to both the Murrah Federal Building bombing and the 2001 World Trade Center attacks--examines whether the nation is really better prepared than it was the morning of April 19, 1995. Based on lessons learned from that attack and several others since, he provides guidelines on prevention, preparedness, reponse and recovery.

    Oklahoma City: How Far Have We Really Come in 10 Years?
    By Michael J. Fagel, Ph.D., CEM
    The residents of Oklahoma City awoke the morning of April 19, 1995, as on any other day. But that April 19 was not to be a day like any other. No one could have predicted the horrifying events that were to unfold.

    At 9:01 a.m., a bomb rocked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 169 people, injuring more than 500 others and causing massive destruction. At that point, the Murrah Building bombing was the worst domestic terrorist incident in U.S. history.

    I was one of many people from around the country who streamed into Oklahoma City that day. For nearly 30 years, I have been involved in every phase of fire and emergency rescue response. But I was unprepared for what I saw as I stood in the midst of total destruction. My role was that of safety officer and critical incident stress debriefer. I have spent 10 years being deployed by Federal Emergency Management Agency for events such as this—including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

    Are We Better Prepared? Learning from Experience
    It's been 10 years since that fateful day in Oklahoma City and nearly four years since the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Over this time, virtually every law enforcement agency in the country has become more attuned to signs indicating another terrorist attack. The federal government has taken dramatic measures to thwart terrorist and to protect the public. Even private citizens have become more aware of their surroundings.
    Despite this increased vigilance, government officials admit that another terrorist attack—perhaps using weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—is inevitable. If another terrorist attack occurs, how will we respond? Are we really better prepared than we were on the morning of April 19, 1995? Lessons learned indicate that emergency managers and response personnel at all levels need to make planning for terrorism a priority. No one is immune to a terrorist attack, so emergency officials and the community's first and secondary responders need to be more diligent in their planning efforts.

    Prevention
    • Reevaluate potential targets and vulnerabilities. Domestic terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh have a deep-seated hatred for government. For these individuals, targets such as the Murrah Building present a natural attraction.
    On the other hand, state-sponsored and transnational terrorists typically desire to hit a broader range of targets and will not hesitate to kill thousands of civilians to make a point. Their goal is to achieve maximum devastation and to disrupt society. Thus, these terrorists are attracted to a wider range of targets—including financial institutions, key elements of the infrastructure and events that attract many people.
    Experience with terrorist incidents, both in the U.S. and internationally, points to the need for planners to revisit their hazard and vulnerability analyses. In doing so, many communities will realize new vulnerabilities and the potential for damage that far exceeds their response capabilities. Additionally, emerging threats from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons supports the need for additional personnel with special expertise to be involved in the vulnerability analysis process.

    • Institute protective measures at known targets. Terrorists often attack "soft" targets-those that are relatively unprotected or are easily accessed. They are less likely to risk attacking a target that has been strengthened. Instituting protective measures such as barriers, cameras, or security personnel and metal detectors dramatically reduces the overall attractiveness of the target to would-be attackers.

    Preparedness
    • Include mutual aid partners in planning. Most emergency incidents will not require mutual aid. Terrorist events, however, have the potential to be so large-scale that assistance from mutual-aid and emergency management assistance compact (EMAC) partners is necessary. Including these partners in the planning process for terrorist incidents helps ensure that all responders who could be called on in a terrorist emergency are aware of their roles (e.g., active assistance at the incident site versus "back filling" at fire stations and precinct houses) and can execute them without time being lost.

    • Plan for interoperable communications. The inability for agencies within and across jurisdictions to communicate with each other in a wide-scale emergency remains a critical issue. Fire, police and other local agencies as well as responders from mutual-aid jurisdictions must coordinate radio frequencies to facilitate communication of critical information among all responders.
    Communications also occur on a personal level-meaning language and culture are important as well. Consider this simple illustration using the word "squad." To fire/rescue, this word may have a different meaning than it does to law enforcement agencies. Another example is the phrase "charge the line." Law enforcement may recognize the term as a crowd control operation, while fire suppression may apply water to the hose in the appliance, while the utility company may put power or pressure on the line. Same words but different meanings.

    • Plan for interoperable equipment. Activating mutual-aid agreements does little if on-site equipment is inoperable. Mutual-aid and EMAC partners should work together throughout the planning process to ensure that critical equipment (e.g., oxygen bottle valves, hose couplings) work in all coordinating jurisdictions. If possible, new equipment should be procured jointly to ensure interoperability (this may reduce overall equipment cost as well).

    • Protect critical response infrastructure. New York City lost both its emergency operations center and its communications capability during the Sept. 11 attacks because both were located in the World Trade Center complex. Therefore, vulnerabilities of critical response infrastructure must be reassessed to ensure that they are not located in or near a potential target.

    • Plan for redundancy. In a wide-scale attack against the infrastructure, critical equipment and systems may be inoperable. Planning what to do in the event of such failure and developing redundant systems is crucial to an effective response.

    • Involve medical and public health personnel. One terrorist goal is to cause as many casualties as possible. Involving medical personnel in the planning phase will improve the medical response to an attack. For example, this might involve developing a plan whereby victims are triaged at the scene and transported to specific treatment facilities based on the type and severity of their injuries; this exercise will improve the overall timeliness and quality of care. Public health personnel provide the specialized expertise that can be of particular significance following a biological attack.

    • Plan for mass fatalities. Because state-sponsored and transnational terrorists desire to kill as many as possible, planning for mass casualties is a must. Ensure that the jurisdiction has access to facilities and systems needed to respond to a mass-fatality incident (including systems that facilitate family notification, and identification and return of remains). Involve the medical examiner and local funeral directors in this process.

    • Plan for site security. Site security will be an issue for several reasons. First, the incident will be a crime scene and potential evidence must be protected. Second, well-intentioned but unskilled spontaneous volunteers (and media representatives) will likely arrive in large numbers. These volunteers pose a risk to themselves and to responders, and measures should be taken to keep them at a safe distance.

    • Educate the public. Following a terrorist incident, the public will want to know where to go and what to do. People will also want reassurance that the government is in control. Thus, the public should be educated before an attack to avoid unnecessary panic during a response. Encourage the public to develop emergency supplies and "go kits" in case evacuation is necessary. Tell the public where to turn for accurate information about the incident and what actions to take.
    Part of educating the public involves helping citizens understand threat levels. Threat levels mean different things in different areas of the country. Also, the terrorist threat is often overstated. Therefore, the public must truly understand the real degree of threat in the community and what it means to them and their families. This understanding will lead to appropriate public actions-from being aware of their surroundings to taking protective action as directed. An aware public can make sense of the steps that the government is taking to control the threat and reduce the risk.
    Educating the public encompasses several steps that, in turn, will lead to more effective preparation for terrorist attacks.

    Maintain ongoing public education programs to build public confidence in response organizations and encourage positive public reaction during a terrorist incident.
    Build on existing programs and materials created for other types of emergencies. Work with local emergency planning committees and state emergency response commissions.
    Educate the public about plans and procedures developed for terrorist emergencies. Take advantage of plans and procedures that are in place and emergency preparedness information on websites that can be adapted for terrorism situations.
    Enlist the community's help in the form of the media, community, business and religious organizations to raise awareness about what individuals should do in an emergency.
    Target families with school-age children and other special groups. Pay particular attention to public outreach efforts related to protecting school children so that parents and guardians will not immediately crowd the roads and hamper responders in their rush to retrieve their children.
    Encourage public involvement. Make clear the types of information that will be useful in preventing terrorist acts as part of your community's public education campaign.
    • Plan for spontaneous volunteers. Spontaneous volunteers who arrive on scene can provide a huge service if managed appropriately. The planning process should include procedures for accounting for, assigning and managing these individuals. Coordination with the American Red Cross during planning can be particularly beneficial in this regard.

    • Plan for a crush of media. Members of the media will definitely descend on the scene of a terrorist attack. When planned for in advance and managed properly at the scene, media can provide a crucial link between government officials and the public. Develop a joint information system (JIS) and plan to open a joint information center (JIC) as a way to provide timely, accurate information to the public during response and recovery. Ensure that information flows both ways between the public information officer and incident command-and ensure that all responders know to defer questions to public information officer.

    • Train, then train some more. Terrorist incidents are likely to be more complex than most incidents. Training all personnel who may be involved in a terrorist response will ensure that everyone knows what to do and when. Training with mutual aid and EMAC partners will ensure a cohesive response organization during an actual incident.

    • Exercise, then exercise some more. Developing and conducting a progressive exercise program that involves all potential response personnel, including mutual-aid and EMAC partners, will cement the cohesiveness begun through training. During full-scale exercises, enforce personnel safety measures, such as the use of PPE and the buddy system, to ensure that all responders are aware of and follow safety protocols at all times.
    Terrorist events definitely require critical thinking during the planning process to identify all high-risk targets and plan an appropriate response. Planning, training and exercising by city officials in Oklahoma City allowed for a more efficient and professional response to the attack. Just before the bombing, city personnel had participated in an integrated emergency management course at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD. This course enabled the emergency management and response personnel to execute an effective response.

    Response
    The response phase will proceed more smoothly if planning, training and exercising have been well-executed. However, terrorist attacks will pose response issues. These issues can be mitigated by incorporating several key lessons.

    • Establish a single incident command system (ICS) structure. All responding agencies must follow the principles of ICS by establishing a single structure. Incident command may be organized as a unified command or area command, but everyone at the scene must respond through the same organization. Freelancing must not only be discouraged, it must not be tolerated.

    • Enforce safety requirements introduced through training and exercises. To help victims, first responders often place themselves at risk by not following established safety requirements and other protocols at the scene. Responders must be certain that safety requirements and response protocols will be enforced, and on-scene supervisors and the incident safety officer must have enforcement authority.

    • Document as much as possible. Lawsuits are inevitable following a terrorist incident, and documentation is likely to be overlooked as response agencies focus on immediate incident needs. Documenting response actions and damage as well as costs associated with the response may save the jurisdiction millions in legal fees and settlements. Additionally, this documentation can highlight lessons learned to guide future plan revisions.

    • Look for potential cascading events. Because terrorists desire to cause as much damage as possible, terrorist attacks are often accompanied by an increased probability for cascading events. For example, although WTC towers 1 and 2 were the target of the Sept. 11 attacks, WTC 6 and 7 also collapsed. Other structures were damaged severely enough that they posed a risk to responders. In addition, secondary devices may be used (as in the Atlanta bombing of a family-planning clinic as well as in numerous overseas attacks) to injure responders. Systems to identify the potential for cascading events and notifying response personnel of the risks must be in place and functioning during the response.

    • Plan for contingencies. Responding to a terrorist incident is anything but typical, and despite the best planning, situations will arise that require implementation of contingency plans. Therefore, planners must attempt to identify what could go wrong and develop contingency plans.

    • Recognize when to ask for help—and how. Few jurisdictions can respond to a terrorist incident alone. In most case, mutual-aid agreements will be implemented immediately, but even they may not provide sufficient resources for the response. Recognize when additional help is needed. Be as specific as possible when requesting resources (both kind and type), and follow established channels to make the request. Don't forget to develop a plan for how to manage the response until the requested resources arrive.

    Recovery
    As difficult as response to a terrorist incident will be, recovery will be equally difficult but in different ways.

    • Manage the public's expectations. Explain early on that recovery takes time. Victim identification is not easy and may be delayed by issues beyond the local community's control (e.g., crime scene investigation, decontamination, waiting for DNA results). Take steps to keep the public—and especially victims' families—informed. Be honest about what to expect and when during recovery.

    • Establish a family assistance center (FAC). While an FAC should be established as soon as it becomes evident that fatalities have occurred, the center should remain available into the recovery phase. The FAC should be located close to the incident scene, but recovery operations should not be visible from the center. The FAC should incorporate security measures to protect grieving families from the media; it should also provide telephones, private rooms for counseling and notification, food service, nearby sleeping facilities, and a chapel or other location for family members to use as desired. Some FAC positions can be filled by volunteers, but trained counselors are essential.

    • Expect disagreement. Because emotions will run high following a terrorist event, expect disagreement about nearly everything—from the length of time required for recovery and return of remains to an appropriate location and design for a memorial. Patience is critical throughout the recovery process.

    So What Does It All Mean?
    Given the lessons learned from past terrorist attacks, the thought of planning for a terrorist incident may seem overwhelming at first. It is important to remember that you are not starting from scratch. Plans that are already in place to support response to other types of incidents serve as the basis for terrorism planning.

    Begin with the hazard analysis to identify high-risk and high-impact threats. Then, plan, train and exercise to cover the gap between the current state of readiness and that required for a terrorist incident. A thorough, up-to-date hazard analysis can provide a solid foundation for an effective plan. The process which a jurisdiction will use for a terrorism threat assessment is similar to that used for natural hazards, only the number of targets to be considered must be expanded greatly.

    Threat assessment involves four primary steps:
    1) Identify targets. Review the community's facilities, sites, systems and special events that may be targeted by terrorists. Be sure to include:

    military installations;
    transportation systems such as rail yards, seaports, interstate highways, bus terminals, tunnels and bridges, subways, airports and truck terminals;
    utility systems including electric facilities, oil and gas storage and shipment facilities, telecommunications facilities, water purification plants and wastewater treatment plants.
    2) Prioritize the list of targets. Include facilities, sites and systems that in the wake of a terrorist incident would result in: large numbers of casualties—both fatalities and injuries; extensive damage or destruction of facilities that provide or sustain needs; long-term catastrophic consequences to the general well-being of the population or the community at large.

    3) Assess individual target vulnerability. Using the list developed in Step 2, assess the vulnerability of each facility, site or event. Ask the following questions:

    What is the target's level of visibility?
    What is the criticality of the site?
    How would an attack on the site benefit terrorists?
    How accessible is the target to potential terrorists?
    Are CBRN materials present in quantities that would produce a threat to health or the environment if released?
    What is the potential for collateral damage?
    What is the potential for mass casualties based on the maximum number of individuals present at the site at any given time?
    4) Determine the jurisdiction's overall vulnerability. Consolidating the list of potential targets, listing them from highest to lowest vulnerability. Identify additional and specialized resource requirements (e.g., technical expertise, decontamination units) and develop plans for what responders will do until those resources arrive. Develop and implement a public awareness program that enables local residents to take care of their own basic needs in the immediate aftermath of an attack so that responders can focus on the situation at hand. In addition, develop boilerplate public service announcements for the highest-risk and highest-impact situations to minimize the delay in providing information to the public.

    Agencies at all levels and in all jurisdictions must work together to plan for terrorist attacks. Only a team effort will enable effective planning, training, exercising—and response.

    Should an Incident Occur
    Despite best efforts, any community may be attacked. If that occurs, what should the priorities be? As with other types of incidents, the first priority should be responder safety. The best way to protect responders is to establish the ICS immediately. Establishing command and control over the incident sets the stage for an effective, safe response.

    Other immediate priorities should include establishing a perimeter, establishing a site ID system, implementing the JIS and managing volunteers.

    Establish a Perimeter
    A perimeter must be established around the incident scene to protect any evidence and to ensure that the public, media and others remain a safe distance from the scene and its inherent hazards. Only authorized personnel should be allowed to pass through the perimeter and only at specified points of entry.
    This issue becomes even more critical for incidents that involve possible CBR contamination. In these cases, secondary perimeters (corresponding to "hot," "warm" and "cold" zones) should be established using procedures developed for other hazardous materials incidents.

    Establish a Site Identification System
    Limiting site access has posed problem at all terrorist incident scenes. As noted, spontaneous volunteers, family members and members of the media often rush to the scene. The best way to control access to the site is to establish an identification system that involves designated colors or symbols (and photos, if possible) to identify authorized personnel. Because someone may try to copy the ID system, anticipate the need to change it several times throughout the course of response and recovery.

    Implement a JIS/JIC
    Terrorist incidents, by their nature, will generate high levels of interest. People will be anxious. As noted, disseminating accurate, consistent and understandable information from a single source will calm these fears and will, in turn, will reduce problematic responses from the public.
    The JIS should be implemented as soon as possible following an attack. This process should include opening a JIC as a single source of information for the media. Ensure that media representatives are credentialed and understand that the JIC is the proper source for information about response and recovery efforts. To supplement information provided at the JIC, consider pool coverage of the incident site to minimize operational disruptions and promote safety while allowing the media to report the story.
    Announce press conferences in advance, and be sure to provide adequate notice. Also, ensure that those speaking at press conferences have the background and expertise to respond to media questions. If necessary, recommend to public officials that technical specialists attend news conferences to respond to questions about the details of the incident (e.g., response procedures, decontamination procedures, specifics about agents used in an attack).
    The public must be confident that elected officials are doing everything possible to control the situation and that these same leaders have the public's best interests in mind. The best way to gain and retain public confidence during an incident is to control the flow of information through the JIC.

    Manage Volunteers
    Volunteers can be a great help—or a second disaster—based on how they are handled. Be aware of the jurisdiction's policy and a given state's liability laws when making a decision about whether and how to use volunteer resources. In some case, volunteers may be turned away; in many others, it's best to send them to a central location for coordination and assignment.
    As noted, this issue should be addressed before an incident occurs and a central coordination point should be established for the community. Local and state Citizen Corps councils are an effective way to organize volunteers before an incident and manage them during an incident. Citizen Corps involves several programs including community emergency response teams, volunteers in police service, neighborhood watch, Fire Corps, and Medical Reserve Corps. In a community with no Citizen Corps council, it may be possible to coordinate with the state's Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) or the American Red Cross, both of which are Citizen Corps affiliates.
    The following suggestions also apply to managing volunteers:

    Form a volunteer coordination team.
    Encourage the formation of disaster coalitions.
    Establish a volunteer reception center.
    Designate an entity to manage groups of unaffiliated volunteers.
    Review the jurisdiction's insurance policy with regard to volunteers.
    Develop a training and exercise program for potential volunteers.
    Stress the need to avoid "disaster within the disaster" with regard to the involvement of unaffiliated volunteers.
    Conclusion
    I have been deployed to the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center collapse. I'm often asked to compare the two events. Both are similar in ways, different in others. The outcome, however, is that the U.S. citizens will never know peace as we did before that fateful day in 1995. How far have we come since the Oklahoma City bombing? Most communities have made giant strides, but some communities are lagging. Now is the time to become better prepared.

    Michael J. Fagel, PhD.,CEM, has been involved in public safety since 1970, serving in law enforcement, fire/rescue, EMS, emergency management, and WMD training and support. He currently is a member of the Kane County (IL) Medical Reserve Corps, Illinois Terrorism Task Force and Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team. He also provides the Dept. of Defense and other federal agencies with domestic preparedness support, exercises and plans. Fagel has served as president of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners and as Region V president of the International Assn. of Emergency Managers. He is also a member of the International Assn. of Fire Chiefs Homeland Security and Terrorism Committee, as well as its Occupational Safety and Health Committee. Fagel has authored several texts on emergency planning, homeland security, emergency planning operations and exercise design. Fagel has been a member of ASSE since 1975 and is currently a member of the Society's Three Rivers Chapter. He may be reached at mjfagel@aurorasafety.com.

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  25. #25
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    With the possibility of a shootdown in an incident like this, I find it disturbing that the DCFD and other local emergency responders weren't kept better informed. (see the front page article on FH.com)
    ullrichk
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