By: Kassandra Kaczmarek
Sunday, Oct. 22, students gathered in salon J of the Hilton Austin to learn about how the city responded to the Austin bombings earlier this year. This session was held by a panel of four employees of the city: David Green, Anna Sabana, Angel Flores and Lisa Cortinas.
Lisa Cortinas, began the session with a breakdown of the timeline of how the events occurred. There incidents took place over a 19-day span and package bombs were delivered to seven different locations, ranging from FedEx locations and private residents. Two people were killed, and five were injured during the course of these bombings.
All of the panelists explained how they were personally and professionally affected by these bombings. They went into detail of what their job was once they heard word of what was happening
“I cried and was scared for the city,” said Cortinas. The major conference and festival South by Southwest, or SXSW, was happening during this time, as well as multiple college spring breaks. They explained how the work force in Austin was severely impacted at this time and gave an example of garbage men not wanting to pick up boxes, for fear it could be a bomb.
The panelists went through the details of how they communicated with the media, “One of the most important things in these situations is clear communication,” said Angel Flores.
A major struggle with this tragedy was that you can’t prepare for something like this, “How do you prepare for something like this? You don’t. We know how to prepare for flooding’s but there is no preparation for a serial bomber,” said David Green.