How Americans Feel About Terrorism And Security: Two Years After 9/11

Understanding attitudes, concerns and reactions of individuals and families is critical to emergency planning efforts on all levels. In order to have effective implementation of a disaster plan, people need to be confident in (a) the reliability of information from official sources, (b) the capacity of government to perform effectively in a crisis and (c) the capability of response systems, particularly the health systems and first responders. Absence of confidence in response systems or leadership may undermine the best of crisis plans, leading to unnecessary panic and potential excess loss of life. In August 2003, The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in collaboration with The Children’s Health Fund, commissioned the Marist Institute for Public Opinion to conduct a survey of adults nearly two years after the multiple terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. The survey included both a national and a New York City representative sample of households contacted by telephone. Questions covered a wide range of issues including people’s concern about potential new additional acts of terrorism in the U.S., the government’s ability to protect citizens, and the health system’s capacity to respond. Throughout, specific questions were asked of a subset of parents of children from four to eighteen years of age. To the extent possible, specific questions were replicated from four previous surveys commissioned by The Children’s Health Fund since September 11, 2001 to identify trends in public attitudes and perceptions.

Disaster Recovery
Terrorism (CRBNE)