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Sunday, August 27, 2006
On the plane to the Loyola conference on Katrina, I read Christopher Cooper and Robert Block's Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security. It's the best overview that I've seen so far. They offer a nice summary of why flood control was botched, and then a more detailed view of how FEMA and other agencies completely screwed up the response. My favorite story is the one about the DHS official who didn't realize that the Convention Center and the Superdome were different places. (There may be a moral there in terms of the degree to which control of disaster response should be federalized.) Anyone who is interested in how to reform the system should read this one.