- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2001

Texas Instruments has tightened security at its two Washington area offices, carefully checking mail and courier packages and restricting employee travel.
The company, with offices in Germantown and on Capitol Hill, has always been careful about security. But it has taken extra steps in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"We have heightened security and will continue to keep it at a heightened level as long as we feel we need to," said Texas Instruments spokeswoman Donna Coletti.
Many Washington area employers are scrambling to improve security as a result of the terrorist attacks in New York and at the Pentagon. Companies are exploring backup computer systems and decentralized management as part of contingency plans so they can continue operating during crisis situations.
Renewed emphasis on security has become critically important at the numerous biotechnology firms around Washington. The 1,000-member Biotechnology Industry Organization yesterday asked companies for lists of materials that could be used in a biological warfare attack.
Earlier this week, authorities charged 20 persons with fraudulently obtaining licenses to haul hazardous materials. Crop-duster planes were kept on the ground to avoid being used in chemical attacks. Closer scrutiny was given to a convicted terrorist collaborator's trial testimony that he trained for a chemical attack on the United States.
The trucking industry, too, is taking extra precautions regarding personnel as well as logistics after the Sept. 11 attacks closed numerous delivery routes in both Washington and New York.
"We already have a weather contingency plan," said John Kane, president of the Kane Company, a Silver Spring moving, storage and distribution business. "But terrorism wasn't expected we were not prepared to have trucks not cross bridges to go into Maryland, and around 11 a.m. on Sept. 11 we had a major gridlock situation at major highways that was unbelievable."
Now Kane is conducting more detailed background checks and installing a new dispatch system. Kane is also looking to hire workers with military experience who have certain clearances and can work at government buildings.
The hotel industry, hit hard in the past two weeks by declining business and leisure travel, is also redoubling efforts to show guests that their hotels are safe.
"In the wake of the tragedy, Marriott has been exercising heightened awareness of security procedures at all of our hotels," said Nick Hill, spokesman for Marriott International of Bethesda.
The importance of having a risk management business set up a contingency plan for a company can't be underestimated, said Terrance Corley, an assistant director of investigation at the Richmond Group, one of the companies working with Texas Instruments.
In a recent survey of Fortune 500 companies, the group found that 90 percent of executives believe a major crisis will affect their company at some point.

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