La Verne prepares for terror attacks

Regardless of how you feel about terrorism and how the government has responded to it, the threat of terrorism remains a matter that should be taken seriously by all Americans.

With this in mind, the University of La Verne, the city of La Verne and the community as a whole has taken action to prepare for these man-made disasters.

The La Verne Fire Department has undergone repeated training on how to respond to chemical or biological weapons and explosives, said Battalion Chief Ron Sillo.

Another asset in the community’s favor is the adoption by both the police and fire departments of the Incident Command System (ICS), which sets up a specific chain of command that encompasses both departments and gives each public safety official a specific set of responsibilities.

“Almost all emergency agencies in Southern California have been trained in ICS,” Sillo said.

While it is comforting to know that our designated protectors are well prepared for the unspeakable, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a plethora of tips to help keep ourselves prepared for the worst.

In the event of a biological attack:

• Check TV, radio or the Internet for official news and information, including what groups/areas were exposed, what the symptoms are and where treatment is available.

• Use common sense and follow the instructions of doctors and other public health officials.

• Protect yourself by covering your mouth and nose with several layers of fabric, tissues or paper towels that filter the air but still allow breathing.

In the event of a bombing:

• Take shelter against your desk or a sturdy table.

• Exit the building as soon as possible.

• Do not use elevators.

• Check for fire and other hazards.

• Take your emergency kit if circumstances allow you to do so.

For more tips and information to keep you and your loved ones safe in case of the worst, visit

Tom Anderson can be reached at

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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