IT in terrorism exercise gets mixed reviews

The Topoff2 simulated terrorist attacks on Chicago and Seattle generated mixed results in the after-action analysis of emergency responders' IT readiness in the case of biological and chemical attacks.

Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge acknowledged at a House Select Homeland Security Committee hearing May 20 that federal officials in Seattle had provided varying information about the simulated radioactive plume from the mock radiological weapon released in Seattle.

Meanwhile, officials in Chicago reported problems with local communication via cellular phone and with emergency management officials in Washington, but the state's Hospital Health Alert Network functioned well, said Tom Shaffer, spokesman for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.

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