This study explores the major issues facing collective response operations after destructive earthquakes. The small-n case study design employs qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the decision-making process in a context of seismic risk to exemplify how public managers can utilise information and communication systems to ensure collaborative actions in managing an extreme event. Fifty-eight semi-structured interviews with 39 key decision-makers and researchers and content analyses of daily reports from Cumhuriyet comprise the main data sources. The study compares and contrasts the Turkish disaster management system following the Marmara and Duzce earthquakes of 1999. It addresses whether the use of information and communication technologies significantly affected its performance. The study's findings reveal that difficulties in accessing and exchanging timely and accurate disaster-relevant information inhibited coordination during the Marmara response while increased communication functions improved coordination and search-and-rescue activities during the Duzce response.