On September 11, 2001, my husband was attending a week-long course in New York City. As I stood in my kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland, drinking a cup of coffee and watching Good Morning America, I heard Diane Sawyer say, “We have breaking news.” Horrified, I watched the scenes of the Twin Towers under attack—and suddenly realized I had no idea where my husband was. After four frantic hours of trying to reach him, he finally returned my call. His hotel was next to the Empire State Building, in walking distance of the attacks. Almost all the surgeons at the meeting climbed onto a bus to go to a treatment center to help the victims. My husband, sensing the futility of this volunteerism, did not go. His instincts were correct. When the busload of physicians returned, they reported they stood around for twelve hours without access to news and did nothing.
Topics: American College of Health Care, Author, Citizen Corps, Community Emergency Response Team, disaster preparedness, Dr. Wayne Nelson, health administration, Health Administration, Public Health, public health education, Public health management, Sharon B. Buchbinder, Sharon Buchbinder Blog