Downtowner Newspaper Reprint

Facilities Design and Management Magazine Reprint
August 28, 2023
The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security Int’L Reprint
August 28, 2023

Just how any of downtown Cincinnati’s buildings would react to a terrorist attack is uncertain, but dependent mostly on the force of the explosion and which buildings bare the brunt of the attack. In the World Trade Center disaster, shards of flying glass landed up to a mild away. In Oklahoma city, hundreds of injuries were directly attributed to flying glass.

According to Jordan Frankel, vice present of Atlanta-based ShatterGARD, Inc., and an expert on glass fragmentation retention, glass shards can travel up to 200 miles per hour after an explosion.

“There is going to be an enormous amount of flying glass when the majority of the building is made of glass,” Frankel said.

Frankel’s company actually reinforces existing glass to be able to better withstand an explosion or to cling glass pieces to a clear film if it does shatter. Several high profile buildings like NASDAQ’s headquarters in New York’s busy Times Square, the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Los Angeles and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. have already been reinforced in the event of an attack. Although many of Cincinnati’s older buildings were built mostly with brick, several newer buildings have an abundance of glass walls, including the 312 Walnut Building, the Provident Bank tower and the Aronoff Center.

“The glass is absolutely a target when an act of terrorism occurs,” Frankel said. “Terrorists know that – it’s an added benefit.”

Anello stressed that Cincinnati residents and visitors shouldn’t overreact about the possibility of a terrorist attack hitting the Tri-state, but she did push for a heightened sense of awareness.

“Just be prepared for any natural disaster and you will be more prepared if something like (a terrorist attack) does happen,” she said. “We’re always promoting that people should be able to take care of themselves for 72 hours after a disaster.”

Anello urged people who work in high-rise office buildings to find out if there is a disaster plan in place and to familiarize themselves with it. At home or work a standard first aid kit, a flashlight and radio with batteries and non-perishable food items are recommended.

“We’ve trained our people,” said Chief Louis. “Are we prepared? How prepared can anyone be for what happened in New York or Oklahoma City? We’re as prepared as any other city in the country our size.