Federal officials raised the Homeland Security Advisory System to its second highest level Tuesday, putting it at a “High” risk of terrorist attacks. Ellen Gordon, the state’s Homeland Security Advisor, says they’re asking Iowans to not panic and not assume that we’re going to be attacked immediately, as there is not “an imminent threat.” Gordon says the increased warning should not interrupt our lives.She says everyone should continue going to work and school and you should not cancel travel plans. Gordon says the state has stepped up its awareness level.She says they’re monitoring the situation from the state emergency operations center at Camp Dodge. Gordon says the agencies that typically respond to problems have been put on a 30-minute alert to be able to respond quickly. Gordon says they’ve contacted the sites in the state that were identified earlier as key state assets.She says there’s the possibility the security at the sites will increase. Gordon says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has asked power plants to check with local law enforcement for increased security. Gordon says Iowans to stay calm, but alert. She asks people to remain vigilant, mindful and wary, and if you see or hear anything out of the ordinary, contact local law enforcement. She talks about what might constitute something out of the ordinary. She says something suspicious in your neighborhood, a car or person or package that doesn’t belong. Gordon says if someone contacts you out of the blue and asks you to do something out of the ordinary, you should contact police. Gordon says the emergency operations center will stay open as long as they deem it necessary to maintain a high level of readiness.
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