Cook County Hosts Preparedness Fair In Wake Of Attacks In NY, NJ, Minnesota

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Department of Homeland Security officials were at Daley Plaza on Tuesday to teach people how to stay safe in an emergency, whether a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.

September is National Preparedness Month, and as part of that the Cook County Department of Homeland Security was hosting a free preparedness fair downtown.

The department integrates resources from 134 county municipalities to make sure people in the state’s largest county are ready for any type of emergency, whether manmade or natural.

People who stop by the fair will have a chance to take part in safety training exercises, and meet some of the men and women who serve on the front lines as first responders.

Officials will pass out literature to help people learn what they should do to try and enhance safety in Cook County.

It’s all part of the “If you see something, say something,” anti-terrorism campaign, which seems especially relevant now in light of last weekend’s terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

Ernest Brown, executive director of the Cook County Department of Homeland Security, said it’s “just a matter of time” before Chicago is the target of a terrorist attack.

“I think it’s alarming if we’re not prepared. If we’re not … taking those steps necessary to be prepared, then it is alarming; but we can do things to prevent, first and foremost, and then mitigate secondarily,” he said.

The fair at Daley Plaza includes a mobile repair shop, a mobile generating station, a temporary air-conditioned shelter, a mobile command center, and a Humvee – the go-to emergency vehicle in the event of a disaster.

The event runs through 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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