federal government has placed secure phone lines in all 50 governors'
offices to make sure the states' chief executives can reach the
Department of Homeland Security instantly, and vice versa, The
Associated Press reported.
phones were installed in March as part of anti-terrorism efforts,
but can also be used during natural disasters or other emergencies.
John Estey, chief of staff for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, got
a scare when the emergency phone rang recently. Estey answered it
– and the caller asked him when her prescription would be ready.
The caller was trying to reach her pharmacist, and had dialed the
top-secret phone number by mistake.