Code Red Ready?

By: Michelle Rosel
By: Michelle Rosel

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If the nation goes to war with Iraq, or goes to a code red terrorism alert, what can we expect in Wichita?

You'll remember last month, strict security measures were implemented at Mid-Continent Airport just days after the U.S. issued an orange threat alert.

But while red is the most severe, if the nation moves to a code red alert status, you might not notice any security changes.

As talks of war intensify, Kansans wonder how their lives might possibly be disrupted. Wichita resident Ron Farthing says, "I'm sure it will have an impact, at least at government offices, post offices, it's bound to."

But local emergency workers say there wouldn't necessarily be more security. Sedgwick County Emergency Management director Randy Duncan says, "Even though we would move to red, we'd continue engaging in activities at normal level, unless we develop a specific threat."

Duncan says they have a plan that outlines security protocol whether a natural disaster or terrorism strikes the county.

Duncan says, "We want to give ourselves the flexibilty to react to each circumstances so that we don't overreact or underreact."

Deciding whether to close buildings, evacuate or increase security will be up to city and county leaders like commissioner Tim Norton.

Norton says, "Its a new reality out there, as elected officials we think tornado storm season, today, layered on top of that with bioterrorism and other parts of terrorism we haven't dealt with in the past."

A new threat for all of us, but officials say they've been preparing for disasters for years, and they're ready.

Emergency officials say you need to prepare too. For example, consider making an emergency plan for your family, or a kit.

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