This transcript includes the May 15, 2003 remarks of Secretary Ridge at the Chicago TOPOFF 2 press conference. "The City of Chicago has an excellent reputation in the preparedness community, and we appreciate the City's willingness to test these capabilities before a national audience. Although a thorough analysis of the exercises will be done in the coming weeks, I am pleased to say that our initial assessment is that the City has performed well under the difficult circumstances it was presented with over the past few days. The TOPOFF exercises are an important part of our national preparedness strategy. If we are going to make our response system stronger, we first have to identify where strengths and weaknesses exist. That is what TOPOFF is designed to do. These challenging scenarios forced us to gauge our readiness, test our internal communications, and reinforce relationships."
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