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Chapter Two: Findings and Lessons Learned

Throughout the WTC response and recovery, surprising problems and little known capabilities combined to present organizations with both unfamiliar challenges and opportunities for ingenious solutions. In this section we present the main lessons that emerged from our research. They pertain to the ways in which information needs, resources, technology, and policies interacted with planning, preparedness, coordination, and collaboration among the involved organizations. These lessons apply not only to emergency planning and management agencies but also to any government, private, or nonprofit organization. Throughout the remainder of the report, we include quotes from our interviews that capture the main lessons in the words of the people who experienced them. We cover five topics.
  • Availability, quality, use, and management of information
  • Nature, strengths, and weaknesses of available technology
  • Role and effect of existing plans, programs, procedures, and relationships
  • Information policy issues
  • Communicating with the public