CAMP MURRAY - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray activated to Phase II at 5:30 p.m. Monday in response to the elevation of the homeland security alert because of a national high risk of a possible terrorism threat.

"While there is not a specific threat targeted at Washington state at this time, there is now a heightened national security concern because of the imminence of a war with Iraq," said Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Lowenburg, adjutant general of the Washington National Guard and director of the Washington Military Department. "So it is prudent to take certain security steps at the state level."

Washington state's present role is to monitor and support state agencies and local jurisdictions across the state in preparations and in emergency actions, should that become necessary. The Governor has been informed of the elevated status of homeland security threat.

Here are some steps that Washington state citizens may want to consider at this time:

• Review your disaster plan with all family members.

• Exercise caution when traveling. Be alert to your surroundings, avoid placing yourself in a vulnerable situation and monitor the activities of your children.

• Avoid leaving unattended packages, backpacks, briefcases or bags in public areas.

• Review disaster preparedness procedures.

• Check on neighbors who are elderly or have special needs to ensure they are okay. Review the disaster plan with them.

• Listen to news regarding the heightened threat and security procedures, local contingency operations/plans/evacuations and personal safety message.

You can find information on disaster planning at the web sites below.

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