Information on Terrorism
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we have all become
more concerned about the threat of terrorism. The information presented
on these pages will help you understand better what Los Angeles
County is doing to prepare for terrorism and what you can do to
prepare your family and business for a possible terrorist attack.
And at the same time you’re taking steps to prepare for terrorism,
you’re also preparing for any major disaster, like a major
What is the County doing about terrorism?
Los Angeles County has one of the premier emergency response systems
in the country, and if there is a terrorist event, these systems will
immediately be activated. Like the rest of the nation, we know we’re
vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and committed staff in key county
agencies are working long hours to ensure that county government is
prepared. County employees are committed to providing the best possible
services to our communities, whether in normal times or in crisis.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is committed to supporting
essential planning and county services.
In 1996, the county established the Terrorism Working Group (TWG),
a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional group, including local law enforcement,
local fire, and the county Department of Health Services. The TWG
has developed terrorism response plans and training. The county also
developed a Terrorism Early Warning (TEW) group, which assesses potential
threats to determine if they are credible.
Because of the current heightened state of alert, the TEW works full
time to assess local threat conditions. The TEW is in constant contact
with key federal agencies, such as the FBI. TEW shares its findings
with key county decision-makers and with local law enforcement agencies.
How does the County prepare?
In any emergency, the County follows disaster plans, which apply to
any natural or human-caused disaster. The county’s special terrorism
plan was released in March 2003, but County departments have also
developed terrorism plans that apply to their specific programs and
responsibilities. (See Emergency Exercises for information on this
year’s program.) Complementing the planning element, the County
conducts a regular program of training and exercises. Public safety
departments (Sheriff, Fire, Coroner, Health Services, and Public Works)
conduct regular training for first response staff and more than 150
employees from ten county departments are on call to work in the
County Emergency Operations Center. CEOC staff receives regular and
frequent training on communication and computer systems and on their
specific responsibilities as part of the county’s emergency
team. Each year the county manages several emergency exercises, some
are narrowly focused on CEOC operations but at least one each year
includes all county departments and most of the 88 cities.
Code Section 2.68 designates the Sheriff as the director of
emergency response and the Chief Administrative Officer as the director
of recovery operations. Local cities are in charge of any emergency
in their jurisdiction, and the County gives support and resources
as needed. The County also coordinates mutual aid between cities,
with other counties and state agencies.
Click here to see frequently asked questions about terrorism.