Northwest NEWS

March 11, 2002


King County getting ready for terrorism

King County is preparing for worst case emergency scenarios that involve terrorist attacks that impact the ability of county government to provide services and remain functional.
   From April 22-26, government officials from the King County area will take part in an intensive week long training session paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The training will be conducted at Mount Weather Virginia, a FEMA facility in close proximity to the Washington D.C. area. Personnel attending the training will come from county government, cities, state and federal agencies, major businesses, and other regional organizations, which will play a key role in responding should a terrorist attack take place.
   "Terrorism and earthquakes are both 'come as you are' disasters," said King County Executive Ron Sims. "There is no advanced warning for these types of events. You are either ready or you're not. Although we have had considerable emergency preparedness training already, we are fortunate to have been selected through a competitive process to attend this outstanding training.
   "Terrorism is not just a federal issue. When terrorists strike, cities and counties will play a vital role in any response effort. This training will make us even better prepared to protect and serve the public, by preparing for any eventuality."
   The week of training consists of classroom presentations by nationally recognized experts.
   The classroom training is augmented by mini-disaster simulation exercises that will occur throughout the week, culminating in a day-long exercise that will put all the participants through their paces.
   Eric Holdeman, Manager, King County's Office of Emergency Management commented on the exercise. "Only a select few jurisdictions are chosen each year to participate in this type of intensive training. We are indeed fortunate to have been selected. FEMA will pay for air travel costs for participants and will house attendees in 'dorm like' rooms while staying at their facility in Virginia. The local participants will only be required to pay for meals.
   The last time King County participated in this type of training was in preparation for the Goodwill Games that were held in the region in the late 1980s.
   This release is also posted on the King County Executive's Web site at