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Bill Signing for Emergency Preparedness, Photograph, 2002


Materials in the Library of Virginia’s collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; enslaved or free status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation. 


Governor Mark Warner signed the Emergency Preparedness Executive Order on Jan. 31, 2002. The order launched the Secure Virginia Initiative, established the Secure Virginia Panel, directed state agencies to prepare or update emergency response plans, and designated points of contact within the administration for federal cooperation with homeland security issues. John Hager, Governor's Assistant for Commonwealth Preparedness, was appointed the chair of the Secure Virginia Panel.

Governor Warner explained his rationale for the creation of this executive order as response to the 9/11 attacks which caused the deaths over 2000 people and the threatened attack using the anthrax virus. “September 11th and the frightening anthrax scare that followed taught us in a profound way that we must do much more to make ourselves less vulnerable to terrorism. This first round of common-sense reforms can be enacted quickly and without a prohibitive price tag. I look forward to the next set of recommendations and the opportunities they may present for Virginians to help fight the war on terror.”

Citation: Governor Mark R. Warner, Press Office records, 2001-2006 (bulk 2002-2006), accession 42460, Box 59, cd 2, 1-31-02Bill Signing\650CANON, Manuscripts Collection, Library of Virginia


VS.I, VS.9, USII.1, USII.8, USII.9, VUS.1, VUS.14

Suggested Questions

Preview Activity

Look at It: Look at the photograph. What do you notice about it? What do you think happened before the photograph was taken?

Post Activities

Virginia Validation: Why do you think Governor Warner felt Virginia needed the Secure Virginia Initiative in addition to the newly created federal Department of Homeland Security? What is special about the Commonwealth which makes it a potential area for a terrorist attack?

Current Connections: Politicians on both sides of the aisle are known for having photos of specific events become famous. Why has this photo become emblematic of the Warner administration? What does it tell you about the time in which it was taken?