Registries allow researchers and health professionals to track and investigate illness and recovery related to disasters. Lessons learned from a disaster can also save lives and reduce injuries in future disasters. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the New York City Health Department established the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry in 2002 to monitor the health of people directly exposed to the 9/11 WTC disaster. The Registry became the largest post-disaster registry in U.S. history when more than 71,000 responders and survivors voluntarily enrolled in 2003-04. Since May 2009, the Registry has been funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and has ongoing collaborations with academic and governmental entities and medical institutions.
The WTC Health Registry periodically follows-up with enrollees to track changes in physical and mental health over time and gaps in care.