Is the Brooklyn Bridge safe from terrorists? What about the New Jersey Turnpike? A conference at Princeton University, “Emergency Preparedness in the Region, What Have We Done and What Is Still Needed?” will feature expert discussion on protecting critical infrastructures against natural disasters.

The conference, set for Friday, April 3, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, is free by pre-registration. Call 609-258-9065 or go to the website of the Policy Research Institute of Princeton.

The American Red Cross has formed a regional team to deal with emergency preparedness, and its conferences generally deal with the nuts and bolts of how to do it. The discussion at this conference will be on a more theoretical level. A panel will discuss cooperation issues among governments and with the private sector. In other words, what has happened when municipalities fail to coordinate their response to a regional crisis? Another panel will be on public health preparedness.

Tom Kean, former governor of New Jersey, will keynote the event. He is president of Drew University and serves on the Robertson board, but his value to this event is that he co-chaired the 9/11 commission. At that time, Kean did not mince words, and he can be expected to tell the blunt truth now.

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