Meeting on terrorism planned

Monday, October 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ City and county officials throughout the state will meet Oct. 19 to plan for possible terrorist attacks in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Municipal League is hosting the emergency planning seminar to give officials advice on how to prepare for evacuations, bomb threats, chemical and biological warfare and terrorist attacks.

Emergency specialists at the seminar will teach city and county officials how to improve security and implement martial law.

``The cities have been anxious to learn what they can do,'' said Danny George, executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League. ``The odds may be low, but since we've seen what happened in Oklahoma City and then New York City, cities want to be prepared.''

George said the league organized the seminar shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The organization provided emergency management training during the expected crisis of Y2K. But, because of election turnover, many officials have not received disaster training.

``The cities don't want a tragedy to happen and them not be prepared,'' George said. ``We have to look at where we'll be susceptible and have low security. That's where we'll be targeted.''

George said city leaders are particularly worried that crop-dusting planes could drop biological weapons or poisons into the water supply.

They also want to know how to react in case their communications systems are disabled, he said.

Marsha Slaughter, director of the Oklahoma City Water and Wastewater Utilities Department, said there is little reason for people to worry about water safety.

She said the city has had security measures in place for years, and that the city's water system is large enough that it would take a lot of poison to create a public safety threat. Any toxins would be removed in the water's treatment process, she said.

Those invited to the seminar include school administrators, police and fire personnel, and airport managers.