We live in interesting times, to say the least.
Last month’s closure of Interstate 10 and the massive, lengthy traffic jam because of a leaking isobutane tanker truck seemed enough excitement for the year.
Then came Hurricane Isaac.
And now, this week, comes the news of a bomb threat that prompted the evacuation of LSU and a building-to-building search for explosives.
At the very least, Baton Rouge residents and public officials should have extensive experience by now in emergency management. But the official reaction to the bomb scare is a reminder that emergency response plans, like any human endeavor, are usually less than perfect. After a bomb threat was phoned into the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, LSU’s emergency notification system sent text messages and emails to students, faculty and staff directing them to evacuate campus.
Some complained the initial alert message was too vague, while a few others said they received no message at all regarding the bomb threat.
At least some glitches are perhaps inevitable when so many people are involved in an emergency. We were impressed, though, by the relatively calm way in which the evacuation proceeded.
We also know that many law enforcement officials worked very hard to search the campus for explosives before allowing students, faculty and staff back on campus.
No one knows if the bomb threat against LSU was related to a rash of bomb threats made last week against college campuses in Texas, North Dakota and Ohio. We’re glad federal officials have joined with local law enforcement agencies in conducting an investigation.
Those who make anonymous bomb threats can be difficult to catch, but we hope the person or persons behind this threat are brought to justice.