In January, Vilsack asked legislators for a million dollars to beef up Iowa’s homeland security efforts, but he’s re-working the details of that request this week.Governor Tom Vilsack this morning issued an update on the security measures Iowa has undertaken since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D-C. Last fall, Vilsack named Iowa Emergency Management chief Ellen Gordon the state’s new Homeland Security director, and Gordon is drawing up a list of potential Iowa targets terrorists might strike, and devising a security plan for those sites. Vilsack says it’s likely 90-percent of the assets will be privately owned, so there will have to be good cooperation between the state and private entities.Last month, Iowa received almost 13-million dollars from the feds to beef up public health labs, hospitals and communication systems in the event there’s a bioterrorist attack. Vilsack says local emergency personal have to be prepared for whatever may occur as they will be the first on the scene in the event of an attack. In the past six months, 22-hundred Iowa National Guard troops have been called to active duty at home and abroad. Eight hundred Iowa guard members are still on duty. Last week, Iowa became one of eight states picked to participate in a National Governor’s Association bioterrorism policy academy. They’ll provide the states with a faculty of experts to determine how states can respond.
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