The Challenge of the New Age
Edited by David H. McIntyre and William I. Hancock
Chapter 14: A Networked Model for Emergency Planning and Response: The Lessons of Katrina (I)
Bill Eggers A splendid storehouse of integrity and freedom has been bequeathed to us by our forefathers. In this day of confusion, of peril to liberty, our high duty is to see that this storehouse is not robbed of its contents. (President Herbert C. Hoover, American Statesman, 1874–1964) INTRODUCTION When Hurricane Andrew crashed through parts of southern Florida in 1992, frightened residents sat in the rubble of their homes for days waiting for food and water, while looters emptied stores. Part of the problem, reported Kate Hale, Director of Emergency Management for Miami-Dade County at the time, was that federal agencies somehow came to believe that local officials did not want the aid they stood ready to provide. ‘The state was unable to coordinate effectively with the federal government’, she said. And when state officials, arriving in Homestead by helicopter, saw the devastation all around them, they initially committed most of the state’s relief resources to that city, which Hale described as ‘only a small part of the area of impact’.1 In the 14 years since Andrew, Florida has overhauled its emergency-management strategies under the leadership of its governors. It sets new standards for emergency planning and response. ‘One of the biggest differences between how Florida and other states handle natural disasters lies in the degree of cooperation between cities, counties and the state’, said a story in the Palm Beach Post in September 2005. ‘In Florida, they are in constant communication with one another as storms advance and...
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