OMAHA -- Nebraska planners will have a chance to learn lessons from the extended 2011 protests in Wisconsin, a school shooting in Omaha and other real-life emergencies.
The annual infrastructure protection conference for businesses and government officials will be March 26-27 in La Vista. State and federal homeland security officials bring in experts on a variety of topics for the event.
U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg said the goal of the event was to make sure the state was ready for emergencies no matter where they came from.
"This is a way to learn lessons gained from real-life emergencies," Gilg said Monday.
In 2011, tens of thousands of protesters occupied the Wisconsin Capitol for three weeks after Gov. Scott Walker proposed several measures to restrict the power of public employee unions. They banged drums during the day and slept on the marble floors at night to express displeasure with the changes.
One of the speakers at the Nebraska conference, Andrea LeStarge, worked in Wisconsin during the protests. She will talk about the challenges of balancing the protection of civil liberties against infrastructure protection.
This year's conference also will discuss the drought's impact on agriculture and city water systems, radiological shipments passing through the state, cyber security concerns and workplace violence.
The drought concerns are especially timely because 96 percent of Nebraska is experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Mitigation Center.
Experts also will offer advice on assessing threats in the workplace or in schools and programs to reduce violence there.
Some of the lessons at the conference will come from the 2011 Millard South High School shooting in Omaha. A suspended 17-year-old student shot and killed an assistant principal and wounded the principal before fleeing the school and killing himself.