Washington, DC -- Just one day after the terrorist attacks in New York City and the Pentagon, the web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created a page that allowed those devastated by the events to be heard. The "Share Your Comments" banner and the open letter from FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh was an unprecedented feature for the agency web site.
"The entire country -- indeed the entire world -- shares our grief and shock over the events of September 11," Allbaugh wrote. "Many people have called FEMA and sent E-mails of support to those working to help victims of this disasters. We have provided a forum for these emotions."
The feature was an immediate success. Within one week, hundreds of e-mails flowed into FEMA and 210 were eventually posted -- from 28 countries and the United States. The number of e-mails from outside the U.S. surprised and touched those from FEMA.
"It was amazing to see e-mails from Argentina, Australia, Singapore and even Slovenia," said Christi Harlan, FEMA's director of External Relations. "We were very gratified by the response and feel that it was important to allow people to share their emotions and support of the United States."