When terrorists attacked America on Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2001, our communication technology was quite different than it is today. A lot has changed in that time both for citizens and first responders.

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There were no smartphones and no social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Most people were either just getting their cumbersome, clunky cellphones and only had dial-up internet in their homes since high speed access wasn't affordable. People were still relying on newspapers, the radio and television solely for their information.

Fast forward 12-years later and things have changed by leaps and bounds.

Mary Goepfert with the State Office Of Emergency Management (OEM) said the new advances have helped in a lot of ways. Information travels faster than ever and mainstream media is no longer the dominating force behind the flow.

"Thanks to the new technology and communication devices, authorities were able to identify and locate the Boston Marathon bombers this past April. It's amazing how things have evolved," said Goepfert.

Communication breakdowns on 9/11 plagued police, firefighters and EMS workers. Some often wonder if those devices weren't interrupted, would more lives have been saved?

All counties in New Jersey have been equipped with communication devices for when cell towers or web access goes down. Older and new technologies are merging to ensure that the critical contact continues through any crisis.

"Since 9/11, more money and time has been spent on equipment and infrasture improvements," said Dave Brady, chief captain of State OEM Communications Bureau.

Goepfert urged everyone to stay connected to community information and sign up for text alerts.  If you want more information, visit their website here.