As the largest, and one of the most eclectic, urban center in the United States, New York City felt the need to develop an Office of Emergency Management to coordinate communications and direct resources in the event of a mass disaster. Practice drills were then carried out to assess and improve disaster preparedness. The day of 11 September 2001 began with the unimaginable. As events unfolded, previous plans based on drills were found not to address the unique issues faced and new plans rapidly evolved out of necessity. Heroic actions were commonplace. Much can be learned from the events of 11 September 2001. Natural and unnatural disasters will happen again, so it is critical that these lessons be learned. Proper preparation will undoubtedly save lives and resources.
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