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NEW YORK CITY-Threats to Manhattan structures and evacuation plans were among the topics discussed at the High-Rise Counterterrorism Preparedness Conference, sponsored by the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals, The New York Fire Safety Institute and the International Protective Service Agency.

“Every day there is a new chapter in the war on terrorism,” said FBI supervisory SSA Richard M. Frankel, noting that he is in constant contact with Empire State Building officials due to the large number of threats the landmark receives each year. “If there is a threat on a building, building owners will know about the threat is out there. New York City and Washington DC are prime targets.”

Frankel, who heads the FBI’s New York City Threat Response Squad, noted that tremendous progress had been made in combating domestic and international terrorism, however threats still and will exist. He said more than 99.99% of the threat possibilities he examines are not true threats, but they’re still investigated.

Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention for the city Stanley Dawe detailed the necessity of all high-rise buildings to have an evacuation plan for when an accident or incident take place nearby–something that was sorely lacking in the September 11 terrorist attacks. He said pending legislation is currently before the city council that will require all high-rise structures more than 75 feet to have an evacuation plan in place. He hopes such a plan would be put in place at all structures as well.

“It will cost money, there’s no way to get around it,” he said. “But it’s what’s best for your building. No chutes, ladders, parachutes are going to work like a good evacuation plan,” noted Dawe.

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