Edited Version July 5, 2000
EIIP Classroom Online Presentation

"Terrorist Incidents: Consequence Management Strategic Planning"

Rick Ranous
EQE International

Dave Wheatcraft
Director of Technological Hazards
West Virginia State Office of Emergency Services

Amy Sebring: Moderator
EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

The original unedited transcript of the July 5, 2000 online Classroom presentation is available in the EIIP Virtual Library Archives (http://www.emforum.org/vlibrary/livechat.htm). The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. Typos were corrected, date/time/names attributed by the software to each input were deleted but the content of questions and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers to participants’ questions are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.


Amy Sebring: Welcome to the EIIP Virtual Classroom! We hope you all had a safe and happy holiday and are ready to get back to business.

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We will start with a presentation, and then follow with a Q&A session for your questions and comments. Right before we begin the Q&A portion we will review the procedure.

Please do NOT send direct messages to the speakers or moderator as it makes it difficult for us to follow the discussion.

Our session today is titled "Terrorist Incidents: Consequence Management Strategic Planning." Background information for today's session may be found at <http://www.emforum.org/vclass/000705.htm>.

We are very pleased to welcome back Rick Ranous, with Recovery and Business Continuation Planning for EQE International. Before joining EQE, Rick was with the California Office of Emergency Services and he is also a certified instructor for the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) in the Standardized Emergency Management System, and a CSTI adjunct instructor for several training programs.

We are also pleased to have Dave Wheatcraft, Director of Technological Hazards for the state of West Virginia Office of Emergency Services where he is in charge of the state SARA Title III, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Terrorism Grant and Department of Justice (DOJ) Equipment programs.

Welcome to you both, and I understand that Rick will start us off. Rick we turn the floor over to you.


Richard Ranous: Thank you for the opportunity to address this forum today.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead agency in Crisis Management, which is the law enforcement response to the causes of terrorist incidents, terrorists, and their weapons. It includes measures to identify, acquire, and plan for the use of resources needed to anticipate, isolate, prevent, and/or resolve a threat or act of terrorism.

Local Emergency Management is the lead in Consequence Management, which addresses the effects of terrorist threats or incidents on people, property and communities. It includes measures to protect public health and safety, restore essential government services, and provide emergency relief to governments, businesses, and individuals affected by the consequences of terrorism.

The response to a terrorist event will begin at the local level with Crisis Management Command shifting form local law enforcement to the State Police and then the FBI as each agency arrives on scene. The Joint Operations Center (JOC) begins to form as local law enforcement and fire service arrive and establish a unified command. It is critical that clear lines of communication be established to accomplish the transition of command and control from local to state to the FBI.


This slide shows the link of state government to the JOC will be through the State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) in both the Command Group and the Consequence Management Group. This provides direct links between the command and control center of state government and the federal command center for purposes of both Crisis and Consequence Management.

The Command Group is established to ensure coordination of Crisis Management activities. The FBI On Scene Commander (OSC) will involve federal, state, and local authorities deemed necessary for managing the event. Any conflict in the allocation of resources between Crisis Management and Consequence Management missions will be resolved in the Command Group by the FBI OSC.


The Consequence Management Group consists of federal, state, and local agency liaisons that coordinate Consequence Management preparation and response with their respective agencies during threats and actual incidents. A FBI representative will usually serve as liaison between the Consequence Management Group and the FBI OSC.

From the moment a potential terrorist event begins to unfold it will be impossible to separate Crisis Management from Consequence Management. This group will monitor Crisis Management response and provide input on the impact of decisions on Consequence Management. As a result, the Consequence Management Group is of utmost importance to the decisions of the Command Group within the JOC.


The Support Group provides support to all aspects of the federal terrorism response. The various components of the Support Group provide operational resource and council to the Joint Operations Center.


The Operations Group handles threat evaluation, law enforcement actions, and technical evaluations as well as actions relating to the terrorists and their weapons. They are the operational arm of the federal government in resolution of the terrorist event.

The Operations Group is comprised of individuals with the specialized expertise necessary to successfully resolve the complex challenges posed by a terrorist event involving nuclear, chemical, or biological agents. The key to a successful operation will be solid communication and coordination between the JOC and the SOC such that all priorities are considered by the FBI OSC.

I will now ask Mr. Dave Wheatcraft of the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services to explain the processes they are going through at the state level to ensure that their state agencies and local governments are ready respond.

David Wheatcraft: The State Office of Emergency Services is in the process of conducting workshops over the next 3 months throughout the State to familiarize county and local officials with our updated Terrorism Annex. We are also presenting to them a local model terrorism annex for them to use or modify for their jurisdictions. This annex works hand in hand with our annex.

Attendees of these workshops are County Commissioners, LEPC (local emergency planning committee) members, local and state law enforcement agencies, hazmat teams, fire service, DNR (department of natural resources), DEP (division of environmental protection), health, education and hospital representatives.


Responsibility for the health and safety of the citizens of West Virginia ultimately rests with the Governor. The Authority of the Crisis Management Task Force will flow from the Governor's Office through the Secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Coordination will be provided by the WVOES (West Virginia Office of Emergency Services) and logistics provided by the National Guard. Operational aspects of the Task Force will be divided between the Threat Assessment Team and the Threat Management Team.

The Secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety or his or her designee, acting on behalf of the Governor, will have overall responsibility for the coordination of the State of West Virginia's response to terrorism incidents during both the Crisis and Consequence Management phases.

The West Virginia State Police (WVSP) will be the lead state law enforcement agency for the Crisis Management phase of terrorist incidents. The WVSP is the State's first-line of response to terrorism, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's (WVSFM) Special Operations Group (SOG) is responsible for the mitigation of hazardous devices and WVOES will provide support services as requested and necessary.

The West Virginia Office of Emergency Services (WVOES) will activate the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to serve as the coordination center for emergency operations during both the Crisis and Consequence Management phases of a terrorist incident.

This next slide will show you a matrix of the responsibilities of local, state and federal agencies during the Crisis Management phase.


During the Crisis Management phase, when the FBI arrives they will become the lead agency with State and local agencies acting in support. This next slide will show you a matrix of the responsibilities of local, state and federal agencies during the Consequence Management phase.


During the Consequence Management phase, local government, through its law enforcement or fire service, will be the lead agency, with State and Federal agencies acting in support.

This is a very short overview of our terrorism annex. Rick Ranous and EQE have provided us with a Terrorism Annex that will provide the state with procedures to effectively respond to incidents of terrorism. Rick and I will be glad to respond to your questions or comments at this time.

[Audience Questions / Comments]

Amy Sebring: Thank you for that overview, gentlemen, and we can get into some more detail in response to questions. Audience please enter a question mark (?) to indicate you wish to be recognized, go ahead and compose your comment or question, but wait for recognition before hitting the Enter key or clicking on Send. Please specify to whom your question is directed. We now invite your questions/comments.


J. P. DeMeritt: Have there been any incidents to date using this incident command structure. If so, how complicated has coordination been?

Richard Ranous: It was developed out of the Oklahoma bombing incident. This is the only incident to date that I am aware of.


David Crews: Any Speaker: Portions of the Presidential Decision Directive - 39 is classified. How are the interfaces built to handle classified information/communications between the Federal, State and Local Levels?

Richard Ranous: It is our understanding that the DOJ is still working out some of the details regarding that issue.


Jim Strong: How do you determine a threshold level for response at the state level and how do you handle simultaneous multiple incidents?

Richard Ranous: It has to be evaluated by local fire and law first responders. If they feel that it is a suspicious incident they will notify the next level.


Amy Sebring: Dave, can you address the second part of the question regarding multiple incidents? Any special consideration given in the planning for example?

David Wheatcraft: We would respond as we would in any disaster such as floods etc., except for law enforcement.


Greg Leimbach: Anyone. I noticed the primacy given to the DOJ for decision making authority for resolving resource conflicts. Doesn't this set up a classic confrontation between law enforcement and those services dedicated to life safety issues, especially during consequence management?

Richard Ranous: Yes, it does. This is why there is a consequence management group in the JOC. They advise the On Scene Commander (OSC) of consequence management priorities and where they fit with law enforcement priorities.

David Wheatcraft: We hope that through training we can work together on these issues at the local level.


Greg Leimbach: Yes, I understand that life safety (consequence management) issues will take priority over any others until the scene is mitigated, no question.


Lynn Orstad: I found that the "self-study" course on Emergency Response to Terrorism from FEMA was an excellent introduction for me. I would suggest that others may wish to look into this program. Course Number is SS-534, thanks.


Lloyd Colston: Is it possible to get a copy of the WVA annex on the web or by email? Also, I am confused. In one slide, local emergency management is primary for Public Information. In another, they are secondary. I can get confused really quickly here. Lastly, I am planning a tabletop terrorist exercise this fall. If there was one of these already done that I could model, it would be helpful. Is there one?

David Wheatcraft: I could send you one by email.

Richard Ranous: First part. Under crisis management, public information is the responsibility of the OSC supported by State. Consequence management is similar to any emergency operation.

David Wheatcraft: The press will be on the scene at the local level so you must prepare for that also.


Amy Sebring: Table top exercises?

Richard Ranous: Second: We can send (through Amy) a copy of an exercise EQE developed.

David Wheatcraft: EQE has developed 3 for us.

Amy Sebring: That would be great, Rick. I can put a note in the transcript.


Amy Sebring: Can you respond with a quick confirmation on Greg's comment about life safety issues taking immediate priority?

David Wheatcraft: As always they are but we are also concerned about evidence.


David Crews: DW: Does your State planning cover the loss of Continuity of Government (COG) or does the strategic planning assume the "event" will be within State and Local resource capabilities?

David Wheatcraft: Yes, we cover COG.


Paul Golden: To any of the speakers - If we get a nation-wide bio attack with smallpox or equivalent pandemic such as the 1918 Influenza, the Feds will be stretched too thin to help much. Quarantine will be the primary consequence management theme, are there models of "on your own" operations?

David Wheatcraft: As with any disaster we are alone at the local level for some time.

Richard Ranous: This would be like any other response where Federal resources are delayed or not available. State Police will be in the lead for crisis management.


J. P. DeMeritt: Either speaker: what essential assumptions are these plans built around? It appears these are built for large events, such as WMD events. Is that correct? Do we assume WMDs will be used? If so, why?

Richard Ranous: The definition of terrorism by the FBI and federal law leads one to believe most incidents will qualify as WMD incidents.


Amy Sebring: Just to confuse things, further. What if there is a terrorist attack on an airplane or other transportation facility? Is there an agreement between the FBI and NTSB regarding authorities? (National Transportation Safety Board)

Richard Ranous: By Presidential directive 39 - FBI will be lead agency. NTSB will have a role in the command group.


Brian Petuch: I'm concerned about emergency response to chemical terrorism. Office of Justice Program funding contains a population cutoff, which Burlington County missed. However, we will be contacted to provide HAZMAT resources. Is other funding available?

David Wheatcraft: FEMA may provide planning training and exercise grants. Other government grants may be used also.

Richard Ranous: You may want to look into SARA Title 3 funding.


David Crews: Any Speaker: Is there a definition or term in your planning that defines the boundaries between Terrorism and a National Security Event (e.g. Enemy Attack) and subsequent transition planing to transfer "lead" to the DOD?

Richard Ranous: That is an excellent question. I would say that because an international terrorist incident could also be a national security incident that it would have to be evaluated on scene.


Joe Rupe: Take an event at Penn State football (100,000 fans from all over). An agent is released without anyone's knowledge and the fans scatter to the four winds following the game. Consider the timeline before it is discovered that something happened. Now, who is the lead in the event? CDC, Penn State, locals, Commonwealth, Feds?

Richard Ranous: Essentially it is the same thing. The FBI is still the lead agency for crisis management. Local government is the lead for consequence management. Public Health plays a significant role in both activities.


Amy Sebring: Dave, did you have participation from "locals" in developing the model local annex, and how is it being received?

David Wheatcraft: Yes, we had excellent feedback, and our workshops are quite successful. The local model annex is a starting point for many that have no terrorism plans.


Brian Petuch: Please provide funding information to post with the transcript or e-mail to <[email protected]>.


Daryl Spiewak: An additional funding source for equipment is available and it is through the Office of Justice Programs (DOJ). See my article in next month's IAEM Bulletin and check out <http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/osldps>.

Amy Sebring: Thanks Daryl. Also contact your state EM office for suggestions, Brian.


Avagene Moore: Dave, you mentioned exercises - have any local governments in WVA been included? If so, to what extent? If not, when will city/county governments be exercising with the State?

David Wheatcraft: First, we are providing the local model annex with a tabletop exercise to get locals thinking. We will not have a state exercise until we finish with the workshops.

Final Comment:

Don Hartley: I was just going to say a major point to remember: In the initial hours of any event, it will be a total local response. Having plans, even in small jurisdictions, is important. Getting training, such as the Center for Domestic Preparedness at Ft. McClellan AL and at EMI is also important. Any area is vulnerable, not just the big cities.


Amy Sebring: Good point Don, thanks. Thank you very much for being with us today Dave and Rick. We very much appreciate your time and effort. Please stand by a moment if you can while we take care of some announcements. Avagene, can you tell us what's on for next week please?

Avagene Moore: Yes, Amy, thanks. Rick and Dave, on behalf of the EIIP, thank you for a fine presentation today!

David Wheatcraft: Thanks Avagene, I hope we were able to help.

Avagene Moore: Next week, Wednesday July 12, 12:00 Noon EDT, the Virtual Forum features Libbi Rucker-Reed and Warren Vaughn from the Emergency Management Association of Tennessee (EMAT). Libbi and Warren, with years of experience in local government, will be discussing emergency medical services with an emphasis on training, planning and coordination.

We believe this vital part of the emergency infrastructure is a function that receives too little attention. Join us next week to learn more about increased requirements for EMS and EMTs and why the EMS function and input is so important to community disaster preparedness, planning, and a well-coordinated response. Mark your calendar for next Wednesday July 12, 12 Noon Eastern and support Libbi and Warren in this timely discussion. That's all for now, Amy.

Amy Sebring: Thank you, Ava. We have a related announcement from Lloyd Colston. EM directors, Fire, Ambulance, and Law Enforcement personnel are invited to a Terrorism Conference, 17 July at 7 p.m. at the Pryor Vo-Tech School located west of Pryor in Mayes County, Oklahoma. Two Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be presenting the program. RSVP before 12 July to Lori Mitchell at 918-824-1028 or email <[email protected]>.

If there are any other announcements from the floor, please pop them in now. We will have a transcript of today's session posted later on this afternoon, which you can access via the Transcripts link on our home page.

Avagene Moore: On a special note: we are planning our 3rd Birthday Celebration on Wednesday August 9. Watch for more details as the date approaches.

Amy Sebring: Thanks to all our participants today. We will adjourn the session for now, but you are welcome to remain for open discussion. You no longer need to use question marks.