September 26, 2022
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Beyond war games

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If a terrorist attack or natural disaster hit the Tri-Counties, the first businesses asked for help might not be the ones you’d think.

“When you have a mass-casualty event, one of the first businesses that gets tapped is the ice cream companies,” said David Banks, executive director of the Center for Asymmetric Warfare at Point Mugu on Naval Base Ventura County. “When you have a lot of bodies, you have to freeze them. If I have to store 1,000 bodies tomorrow, where would I put them?”

Banks’ center, founded in 1999, envisions probable threats and then designs and executes exercises that get together local, state and federal agencies along with the private sector to figure out how everyone would communicate and co-ordinate their response in a real emergency. In May, for example, nearly 300 people from 90 agencies took part in an exercise in Los Angeles to simulate what would happen if hostages were taken in the L.A. Unified School District.

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