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Chapter One: Information Needs

Information was crucial to every aspect of the WTC event. Its existence, availability, quality, and distribution clearly affected, sometimes dramatically, the effectiveness and timeliness of the response and recovery efforts. Different kinds of information were pertinent to different elements of activity and different audiences and users (see table below). We summarize those information needs briefly here to provide a backdrop for the lessons learned from this unprecedented event.

Crisis-Related Information Needs
Information for Preparedness
Information for Immediate Response
Information for Recovery and Restoration of Services
Information for the Public
  • Physical, social, and economic attributes of the community
  • Likely threats and vulnerabilities
  • Resources and capabilities for response
  • Action and coordination plans for foreseeable events
  • Business continuity plans
  • Immediate and ongoing assessment of damage and danger
  • Knowledge about continuing or ancillary threats
  • Availability and capability of response assets
  • Deployment and coordination of responders
  • Nature and extent of damage to infrastructure and services
  • Identification and assessment of needs and problems
  • Availability and capabilities of recovery and restoration assets in the wider community
  • Deployment and coordination of assets and status of recovery
  • Immediate and emerging threats to civilians and guidance for personal protection
  • Ongoing advisement of continuing threats and what to do
  • Ongoing advisement of recovery and restoration activities
  • Continuing awareness and education