The Raleigh News and Observer dedicated four pages of prelim coverage to the catastrophic event, with headlines such as "Shelters Ready as Isabel Heads for 1 PM Landfall," "Schools Are Closed from Triangle to the Coast" and "Trains, Some Flights, Performances Canceled." On Wednesday evening, September 17, several Public Health Service (PHS) comrades and I received voice mail messages from the Secretary [for the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services] Command Center (DHHS) with orders to report to the North Carolina State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Raleigh and assist in determining the need for Federal support. On Thursday, September 18, 1:00 pm, the eye of Hurricane Isabel passed over Cape Lookout, North Carolina. Based on my previous experiences with such events [usually from the comfort of my home], I imagine that the story that unfolded in the public eye through news accounts and pictures was primarily one of destruction, confusion, frustration and disappointment. While our hearts go out to those who suffered loss, my comrades and I were at the same time deeply moved by the practiced, professional, heroic and uplifting response of many individuals from several organizations that encompassed the NC State Emergency Response Team (SERT). From this experience we gained a very different perspective of this catastrophic event.