such as those of September 11, raise several questions. Are these events inevitable? To
answer this question, it is important to draw on our understanding gathered in dealing
with other disasters. In many geographical locations, disasters are accepted as a feature
of life. In the opinion of many individuals, there is little that one can do to prevent a
disaster. It is an “act of god”.
This viewpoint is antagonistic to public health
and government professionals who are busy at work on plans for dealing with disasters and
reducing their impact. One thing that we have learned from the many disasters that
preceded us, is that the impact of most disasters can be reduced with proper planning and
intervention before the event occurs.