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On Risk and Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina

Overview

Named one of Planetizen's Top 10 Books of 2006

Hurricane Katrina not only devastated a large area of the nation's Gulf coast, it also raised fundamental questions about ways the nation can, and should, deal with the inevitable problems of economic risk and social responsibility. This volume gathers leading experts to examine lessons that Hurricane Katrina teaches us about better assessing, perceiving, and managing risks from future disasters.

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On Risk and Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina

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Overview

Named one of Planetizen's Top 10 Books of 2006

Hurricane Katrina not only devastated a large area of the nation's Gulf coast, it also raised fundamental questions about ways the nation can, and should, deal with the inevitable problems of economic risk and social responsibility. This volume gathers leading experts to examine lessons that Hurricane Katrina teaches us about better assessing, perceiving, and managing risks from future disasters.

In the years ahead we will inevitably face more problems like those caused by Katrina, from fire, earthquake, or even a flu pandemic. America remains in the cross hairs of terrorists, while policy makers continue to grapple with important environmental and health risks. Each of these scenarios might, in itself, be relatively unlikely to occur. But it is statistically certain that we will confront such catastrophes, or perhaps one we have never imagined, and the nation and its citizenry must be prepared to act. That is the fundamental lesson of Katrina.

The 20 contributors to this volume address questions of public and private roles in assessing, managing, and dealing with risk in American society and suggest strategies for moving ahead in rebuilding the Gulf coast.

Contributors: Matthew Adler, Vicki Bier, Baruch Fischhoff, Kenneth R. Foster, Robert Giegengack, Peter Gosselin, Scott E. Harrington, Carolyn Kousky, Robert Meyer, Harvey G. Ryland, Brian L. Strom, Kathleen Tierney, Michael J. Trebilcock, Detlof von Winterfeldt, Jonathan Walters, Richard J. Zeckhauser.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In December 2005, the University of Pennsylvania convened a symposium on the issues and strategies involved in hazard management and, more specifically, the implications of the Katrina response for how our society addresses "geopolitical" risks and responds in such emergencies. As the book's foreword makes clear, the symposium-and this resulting book-was for "policy makers, public and private sector leaders, and scholars." Legal, engineering, risk management, public policy, and other American and Canadian faculty have contributed to a specialized volume for consideration by academic and special libraries. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"This volume provides important insights from the nation's leading experts on how we, as a community and nation, should be rethinking disaster assessment, prevention, and mitigation. Policymakers, legislators, business leaders, and scholars: this is a must-read."—Jon Huntsman, Jr., Governor of Utah

"An indispensable resource for all who seek to learn from the unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. I commend the authors for recording the valuable lessons learned. Their work will assuredly help our communities be better prepared for the next catastrophe."—James Lee Witt, former Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency

"This timely volume contains valuable lessons and insights into the critical areas of disaster prevention, mitigation, recovery, and risk financing. It is an eclectic blend of lessons born of practical experience and academic research that collectively provides valuable insights that policymakers and lawmakers, insurers and academic researchers can draw upon to help guide them through the difficult years that lie ahead."—Robert P. Hartwig, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Insurance Information Institute

"An enormously important volume that comes at just the right time. In the wake of Katrina, new thinking is urgently needed on how to manage catastrophic risk most effectively—especially regarding prevention and recovery. This precious volume offers insights on both fronts, with contributions from many of the nation's leading authorities on risk and disaster. It is a must-read for scholars and policymakers alike."—David A. Moss, Harvard Business School

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812219593
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/6/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 852,377
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald J. Daniels is Provost and Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published widely, including Rethinking the Welfare State: The Prospects for Government by Voucher (with Michael Trebilcock) and The Security of Freedom: Essays on Canada's Anti-Terrorism Bill (coedited with Patrick Macklem and Kent Roach). Donald F. Kettl, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, has written or edited System under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics, The Global Public Management Revolution, The Politics of the Administrative Process (with James W. Fesler), The Transformation of Governance: Public Administration for the 21st Century, among many other books. Howard Kunreuther is Professor and Codirector of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. His has written or coedited a number of books, including Catastrophe Modeling: A New Approach to Managing Risk (with Patricia Grossi) and Wharton on Making Decisions (with Stephen Hoch). Amy Gutmann is the eighth President of the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Why Deliberative Democracy? (with Dennis Thompson), Identity in Democracy, Democratic Education, Democracy and Disagreement (with Dennis Thompson), and Color Conscious (with K. Anthony Appiah). Her reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post, and other general publications.
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Table of Contents

On their own in battered New Orleans 15
Using risk and decision analysis to protect New Orleans against future hurricanes 27
Planning for a city on the brink 41
JARring actions that fuel the floods 59
Behaviorally realistic risk management 77
Rationales and instruments for government intervention in natural disasters 89
Social inequality, hazards, and disasters 109
Equity analysis and natural hazards policy 129
Why we under-prepare for hazards 153
Has the time come for comprehensive natural disaster insurance? 175
Rethinking disaster policy after Hurricane Katrina 203
Providing economic incentives to build disaster-resistant structures 223
Role of public health and clinical medicine in preparing for disasters 231
Hurricane Katrina as a bureaucratic nightmare 243
The Katrina breakdown 255
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