Local leaders take part in disaster training

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

You can bet that when most local elected officials signed up for the job, they never knew the harsh realities they might one day face.

No, we’re not talking about the difficult decisions involved in raising taxes or making budgets or firing department heads. Those are a given.

We’re talking about the gruesome possibility of setting up a mass morgue or mobilizing aid from local, state and federal forces if a terrorist attack occurs.

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But with the nation under a high risk of a terrorist attack as we speak, that possibility is an unfortunate reality.

On Wednesday, mayors and aldermen from Natchez and several surrounding communities gathered for an enlightening discussion of their responsibilities if such an event were to occur &045; whether it’s a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

We might think such an attack couldn’t happen in a small town, but we never imagined Sept. 11, either.

Preparing for an attack is a vague responsibility &045; just look at the federal government’s suggestion that every family keep a supply of duct tape on hand as an example.

But it is a responsibility our local officials must take on.

While we don’t want to see them use the knowledge they learned on Wednesday, we’re certainly glad they took the time for the training.