The deputy director of emergency management in New York City is in Des Moines today, warning Iowa officials terrorism can strike anywhere.Eddie Gabriel spoke today at the Iowa Emergency Management’s annual conference, recounting his agency’s experiences on 9/11. Gabriel says the cooperation among police, fire fighters, and other officials was established way before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and that cooperation was crucial. He says New York City at the Trade Center attacks, the anthrax attacks and then a major plane crash that all put the city’s emergency services to the test.Gabriel says it’s important to have a plan for any disaster — be it tornado or terrorism. He says disasters are not unique to the big cities.Mike Fagel, emergency management director in North Aurora, Illinois, also spoke at the Iowa Emergency Management conference. Fagel, who went to college at Simpson and Drake, helped out at Ground Zero with search and rescue.Fagel says the public needs to get more involved in homeland security.Fagel says it’s unfair to ask the government to do everything. Fagel says citizens need to prepare emergency kits and take some responsibility for their own safety and health. Two-hundred-21 state, county and local officials are attending this year’s Iowa emergency management conference — twice as many as last year.
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