What Does "High Terror Alert" Mean To East Texas? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/10/02 - Tyler

What Does "High Terror Alert" Mean To East Texas?

There are orange cones for an "Orange Terror Alert" at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. That's where passenger convenience is being traded for passenger safety says Security Administer David Whitebread, "They're no longer able to park their cars. They should keep moving in front of the terminal."

A small airport like Tyler Pounds Regional is part of what's being called "a soft target"... An Al Queda target for terrorist attacks. These are places where large numbers of people congregate with little security: from schools, to local businesses and refineries. Areas where you'll now see more police patrol says Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle, "Just to send a message that were prepared, were ready and to tell the terrorists to hopefully go somewhere else."

With this being the second "alert" in a years time, Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith hopes won't the ration won't deter people from taking the alert seriously, "My concerns are when the government gives these alerts the public will become desensitized over this--that they won't be paying attention."

Law Enforcement say the most important thing is to be alert. Alert to your surroundings.

"Example--somebody pulls up to a business, " Says Chief Swindle. "They get into another vehicle and drive off--that would be something unusual."

Federal officials are recommending people take basic disaster preparation steps in light of the hightened terror alert. They suggest stockpiling at least 3 days worth of food and water. They also recommend keeping duct tape and plastic sheeting handy to seal a house in case of a biological or chemical attack.

Jennifer Brice, reporting.

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