Preparing for Possible Threats

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A handful of Mississippi mayors gathered at the Public Safety Training Center in Meridian, to return to the classroom for a day. The lesson was aimed at helping them deal with potential terrorism..

"I think terrorism is to strike fear in your heart. And what better way to strike fear in the heart than in a small town?" said Mayor Susan Vincent of Laurel.

It's a fear the mayors said they think can be can be alleviated through preparedness. The all-day training session, facilitated by a Texas firm in conjunction with the Office of Domestic Preparedness, used a fictitious scenario to illustrate how to appropriately handle an attack.

The training facility shows emergency responders how to use the
equipment. While the federal government does give some money for those types of situations, the mayors here Tuesday said resources are always a problem.

"Our biggest problem is the list they give us has out of date equipment. If we can get an up to date list and have the flexibility to buy that to update our equipment," said Mayor Johnny DuPree of Hattiesburg.

Besides equipment, the group agreed there was a need for a better communication between law enforcement, government officials and hospitals.

"I think, as long as the federal government commits to give us some money we will be okay. Then it is our job to learn and be prepared and make sure we are prepared," said Mayor Hamp Beatty of Newton.

That preparedness might not only relieve fear, but saves lives as well.