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Air Disasters, 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.