Terrorism Headlines

Terrorism Preparedness

Federal Homeland Security Information

Securing Americans from terrorist threats or attacks is a critical national security function. On January 23, 2003, President George W. Bush signed an Executive Order creating the Department of Homeland Security. This federal department's main objective is to provide extensive coordination across a broad spectrum of Federal, State, and local agencies to reduce the potential for terrorist attacks and to mitigate damage should such an attack occur. To find out more, please visit some of the following links.

Dane County Terrorism Preparedness

Oklahoma City Bombing

In 1996, after the Sarin gas attack in a Tokyo subway and the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress passed the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, better known as the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Act, to address terrorism in the United States. It established the framework for “domestic preparedness” against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - biological, nuclear, incendiary, chemical, and explosive.

The law is aimed at reducing the nation's vulnerability by establishing a domestic preparedness program to teach communities how to respond to an "unconventional" attack. It created specialized military response teams to identify the agent and medical response teams to vaccinate and decontaminate victims. And it proposed annual training exercises to encourage local, state, and national responders to work together.

Dane County and Madison officials, state and federal authorities, school and utility representatives, businesses and non-governmental agencies have worked together to develop and implement the local program since 1997.

Domestic preparedness primarily involves resource management, training, planning and exercising (testing) emergency plans. We have trained hundreds of people including elected and appointed public officials.

Twin Towers Explosion

Specialized emergency response resources are available to protect the public and first responders. Emergency responders have received personal protective equipment, equipment to detect harmful materials and equipment to decontaminate casualties. The Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team is prepared to respond to hazardous materials incidents. The Dane County Sheriff's bomb squad is available for terrorism incident response. Local emergency medical response planning and training is ongoing. Laboratories are also available to test unknown substances.

Dane County Integrated Domestic Preparedness Committee has implemented the Terrorism Response Plan that outlines procedures to organize multi-agency and multi-discipline response. It includes measures for immediate incident response, post-incident response and recovery. Responders would be coordinated for an effective and efficient response to save lives, stabilize the incident, and mitigate property and infrastructure damage. The Dane County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) guides direction and control, communications, resource management, law enforcement, fire/rescue, emergency medical services, public health, public information, damage assessment, and recovery.

We have developed a “Domestic Preparedness Employee Awareness” program complete with 30-minute video, instructor guide and handouts to train security, facilities and other staff of potential targets.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 interest in local domestic preparedness has increased dramatically.

Here are some additional sites you may want to view for further preparedness information in Dane County:

The Domestic Preparedness Employee Awareness program is available to County employers free of charge. Programs on terrorism and emergency preparedness are also available free of charge to citizens and interested neighborhood associations, service groups, etc. For more information you can contact John McLellan at Dane County Emergency Management, 267-2542.