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Connecticut On Alert
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Five years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the threat of another attack remains. Color-coded security alerts and stricter airport check-in procedures have become routine for Connecticut residents, but what's going on behind the scenes to prevent terrorists from striking again?

Learn more about our post-9/11 state with CONNECTICUT ON ALERT, a new documentary premiering Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV). The documentary will repeat on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 11 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 6 at 9:30 p.m. on CPTV.

CONNECTICUT ON ALERT is a CPTV Connecting Our Communities initiative produced in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

From the Red Cross to the FBI to the U.S. Coast Guard, our state officials and emergency responders are preparing to respond to terrorist attacks in unprecedented ways. Viewers of CONNECTICUT ON ALERT will ride along with Coast Guard officers as they patrol the coastline; witness dramatic video of a simulated terrorist attack; and visit Waterford, where local police hold essential drills not only for town officials, but for the general public as well. CONNECTICUT ON ALERT looks at the emotional and psychological effects of terrorism. The documentary features a hard-hitting and poignant interview with a Connecticut man, James Vasquenza, who managed to escape from the World Trade Center when it was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. A mental health expert from Saint Francis Care, a hospital in Hartford, offers advice on how citizens can mentally prepare and respond to the threat of terrorism.

The goal of CONNECTICUT ON ALERT is to educate the viewing audience on what their response should be in case of a terrorist attack, and to explain how people can better prepare their families and businesses for what some including Glenn Sulmasy, a national security expert who has advised the U.S. Congress on our threats to our nation say is the inevitable next attack.

Military trucksThe Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the FBI in New Haven, the U.S. Coast Guard in New London, the Connecticut State Police, the Connecticut State Departments of Transportation, Public Health and the American Red Cross are featured in the documentary.

"The state of Connecticut, without a doubt, is a prime target for terrorism, but what elevates us to a higher level are some of the critical assets we have in Connecticut like the United States submarine base, the Coast Guard Academy, nuclear power plant and our submarine-building facility," said James Thomas, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

In April of 2005, Connecticut was the site of the TOPOFF 3 International drill, an exercise that tested how the state would response to a simulated international terrorist attack if it originated in Connecticut. The documentary reviews the results of that drill with the event's organizer and national examiners. "The federal partners learned a lot about our capabilities here in Connecticut what we can do, what we can't do, and what we'll be looking for them to provide to us in a disaster situation," said Robert Ross, TOPOFF 3 evaluator.


Production Credits

ON ALERT: CONNECTICUT'S RESPONSE and CONNECTICUT ON ALERT are both CPTV Connecting Our Communities initiatives produced in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Producer, Writer, Director: Kim Milbrandt

Executive Producer: Jay Whitsett, Vice President of Programming, CPTV

© 2006 Connecticut Public Television