Twin towers of the World Trade Centre Complex, several other buildings were destroyed. Most of the building became inhabitable as a result of the toxic conditions and extensive damage. According to the 9/11 Commission, approximately 16,000 people were below the “ impact zones” in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks. A large majority of those below “ the impact areas” survived, evacuating before the towers collapsed (Robin, 2005). Cleanup of the World Trade Center site took 8½ months while the recovery continued for more months on 24 hours a day basis (Robin, 2005).
The operation involved thousands of workers. In addition, a massive pile of debris smoldered and smoked for 99 days. Emergency management or disaster management deals with “ management of risks’ including avoidance of the risks (Haddow and Jane, 2-3). It entails preparing, supporting, and rebuilding society when disasters occur. Emergency management should be a continuous process involving “ communities, groups as well as individuals” in management of hazards so as to reduce or avoid the impacts of disasters (Alexander, 10.12). The action taken should depend on the perception of the risks of the people exposed to the hazard.
According to Walker (98 -110), effective disaster management should integrate “ emergency plans” at various levels of “ government and non-government participation” . Modern set up in emergency management should focus on a more general goal to protect the “ civilian population” at all times whether in times of peace or in times of war (Haddow and Jane, 65-90). The process should involve the following important phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Mitigation attempts try to prevent the hazard from building up into disasters or they reduce the impacts of disasters (Wisner, 100-101).
This phase focuses on long term measures for eliminating or reducing risks. If a disaster occurs, application of mitigation strategies becomes part of the recovery efforts. However, actions that eliminate or minimize risk over time are part of mitigation measures (Haddow and Jane, 65-90). Mitigation efforts involve both structural and non-structural strategies.
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