October 1, 2001

Mayors Receive Bioterrorism Briefing

Washington, DC -- In the wake of recent terrorist attacks against the United States, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley today moderated the first in a series of national videoconferences on emergency preparedness, terrorism, and public health, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. This groundbreaking series of discussions will help Mayors across the country stay up to date on the latest efforts, information and ideas on urban emergency preparedness.

Mayor O'Malley talks with Dr. O'Toole


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NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports on how one mayor is responding to the terrorist attacks. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and other mayors have been sharing information on how best to prepare for a possible future attack. Listen to the NPR report!

Get a copy of the Hart-Rudman Commission reports through the Mayors Emergency Response and Homefront Readiness Hotline (888-828-8763 or

Download the GAO report referenced in the webcast.

Johns Hopkins Biodefense Web Site

In today's event, Tara O'Toole, Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Biodefense, briefed the offices of 225 Mayors from across the country on the threat of bioterrorism. She said Mayors would be on the frontlines preparing for and responding to any biological or chemical attack.

"Because of our population bases, American cities are the frontlines of any possible terrorist attacks, biological and otherwise. As Mayors, we must be ready to responded or prevent these events," Mayor O'Malley told the participants. "The goal is to mobilize our resources and share information. Not only intracity but intercity as well."

Executive Director J. Thomas Cochran, who also appeared on today's panel, said the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been working with the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas A&M University for the past few years to sponsor regional training sessions to help Mayors deal with the threat of biological and chemical attacks. He also highlighted the upcoming Emergency Safety and Security Summit that will take place on October 23-25, 2001 in Washington, DC. The Summit will bring together Mayors, fire chiefs, police chiefs, and federal officials to discuss security and emergency preparedness and response issues.

The U. S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,200 such cities in the country today.

For more details, visit the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the web at to view the archived discussion.

Contact: Andy Solomon (202) 861-6766


©2004 U.S. Conference of Mayors