Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 11 Issue 2 (June 2003), Pages 49-95

State‐level Emergency Response to the September 11 Incidents: the Role of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection (pages 78-85)

Disaster preparedness and emergency response in the United States have become increasingly decentralised with state and local governments assuming a larger share of these responsibilities. Policy planners generally view these as positive developments because of the presumed greater adaptability of lower levels of government rapidly evolving crisis conditions. The terrorist incidents of September 11, 2001 required disaster managers across the country to take charge of a situation of an unanticipated type and magnitude. During the events' aftermath public attention was transfixed on activities at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside of Washington, DC. However, emergency responders nation‐wide were simultaneously taking preventative measures to secure nuclear power plants, water resources, and other exposed facilities. This analysis highlights the immediate response activities implemented in New Jersey under the aegis of the state's Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The discussion also considers several of the longer‐term initiatives carried out in the state during the subsequent period due to on‐going threat vulnerability assessments and actual events such as anthrax contamination. The conclusion assesses the implications of the September 11 incidents on emergency preparedness at the state level.

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