Public Infrastructure Service Flexibility for Response and Recovery in the September 11th, 2001 Attacks at the World Trade Center

Zimmerman, R.
in Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center, Public Entity Risk Institute, and Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research. Special Publication #39. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado, Pp. 241-268.

After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the ability to rapidly restore transportation, power, water, and environmental services to users was absolutely critical, especially to those involved in the immediate search, rescue, and recovery operations. What better way could infrastructure serve its users-both emergency workers and the general public-than to be able to respond quickly in a crisis? The ability to provide these services required a degree of flexibility, often unanticipated and unplanned, that only became apparent as the response efforts unfolded. The capability of basic infrastructure service providers to respond to public needs for transportation, energy, communication, water, sanitation, and solid waste removal after the September 11th attacks was to a great extent influenced by the flexibility of the initial infrastructure design and management functions to respond to normal system disruptions and to extreme, but not necessarily terrorist-related, events.

Wagner Faculty