Two Iowans from the state Emergency Management Division are observing the national homeland security drills in Seattle and Chicago. Ellen Gordon is the administrator of the division, and also the state’s homeland security advisor. She says she hopes they’ll come back with observations that help the state with its response, particularly the “dirty bomb” drill in Seattle. Gordon says this is a unique opportunity for her staff. She says they don’t often get to see federal, state and local agencies responding together to a disaster. Gordon says her interest in the “dirty bomb” exercise is not based on any potential threat to Iowa.She says it’s not that we’re at risk, but she says it’s important to be prepared in the event that something does occur. Back in Iowa — there was some damage done by a natural disaster this past weekend — but Gordon says it wasn’t near the destruction seen recently in other states. She says there was not significant damage to roll into a dollar amount of loss. The state is sometimes called in to help with cleanup, but Gordon says it doesn’t appear that’ll be necessary, as they haven’t had any requests for state assistance.Gordon says Iowa’s been luck thus far. She says her heart goes out to the other states that’ve had damages, as she says she knows what it’s like to have the damage here in Iowa.
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