In a report with serious implications for school leaders - especially those in urban areas - the Homeland Security Department has found only six U.S. cities have adopted fully adequate emergency communications systems.

And when it comes to strategic planning, an account of the report said, 39 of the 75 communities - or 52 percent - have no plans or only informal or partial plans to make interagency communications possible.

On Sept. 11, 2001, New York fire battalion chief Dennis Devlin issued an urgent plea: His men were in "a state of confusion" and needed more working...

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