Authorities prepare for 9/11 anniversary emergencies

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - We are exactly one month away from the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.  While plenty of tributes have been planned authorities also have to prepare for another emergency and everyone at State Civil Defense knows what's on the line.

"It's something we all think about. You look for some key dates that may spark some sort of an incident," said Ed Teixeira, Civil Defense Vice Director.

The 10th anniversary of the attacks would be one of those dates.  There has been one bulletin so far from Homeland Security drawing attention to that day.  Right now there are no credible specific threats against the nation. Still every two weeks they meet with the FBI.  Authorities trade information and analyze trends.

"It is an event we have to watch and be prepared for something that may happen," said Teixeira.

The state also watches terrorism triggers like the air defense identification zone to make sure incoming planes are traveling the correct route.  And while the federal government adopted a new terrorism advisory system Hawaii still uses its color coded system.

"Whether it's by land, by air or by sea we are part of that early alert warning system as well," said Teixeira.

Airports won't reveal specific security staffing details, but they're doing more than just checking bags and passengers.

"There are a lot of things the public isn't aware of, things that happen, there might be a threat on the federal level that gets passed down to us and sometimes there are more sheriffs on duty there is more security, more TSA agents, you never know," said Dan Meisenzahl, State Department of Transportation Spokesman.  "You never know one day there might be more officers on duty than another because of whatever the given situation is."

"I see that people tighten up a little more and we look out for each other and the people are very loyal and they look out for each other," said George Van Guilder, frequent flier.

"Sure it could happen. There's danger out there.  I hope our security forces will take care of that," said Audrey Shimomura, Pearlridge.

"In terms of security there are always concerns," said George Shimomura.

"Whether it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 or if it's just another day. The airports here in Hawaii and across the country are among the safest places you could ever be," said Meisenzahl.  "I can assure the public if you have a flight out that day it's definitely a safe day to travel, any day is a safe day to travel."

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