Ten years ago, in 1996, the author published a commentary on disasters, the environment, and public health, reviewing progress in the field. Despite many advances, significant events have occurred during the intervening decade, including the September 11,2001, terrorist attacks and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. The recent lessons from Hurricane Katrina indicate that public health professionals still need to do more to protect the public in times of national disasters. Since recurring disasters will continue to adversely affect human health, public health providers and others involved with disaster management should again reflect on the importance of this issue and the need for action. Such action includes key public health professionals being present and actively involved in the field before and immediately following disaster impact.