A life insurance trade group official is helping to prepare the United States for the possibility of attacks involving weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates has named Frank Keating, president of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, to a 13-member Pentagon advisory committee. The committee is supposed to come up with ways to help U.S. civil authorities cope with the effects of a nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological or high-yield explosive attack.

Keating will be the vice chairman of the council.