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A Tale of Two Disasters

Mary Grisez Kweit and Robert W. Kweit
Publius
Vol. 36, No. 3, The State of American Federalism, 2005-2006 (Summer, 2006), pp. 375-392
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4624754
Page Count: 18
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A Tale of Two Disasters
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Abstract

The report to the U.S. president entitled The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina concludes that in the event of catastrophic disasters the traditional intergovernmental response to disaster should give way to a more dominant role of the national government. This article considers whether it is possible to respond effectively to disaster in the traditional, intergovernmental mode by comparing the response to Katrina with the response, which was widely considered to be successful, to another disaster, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The research suggests that an intergovernmental response can be successful if those who respond to the disaster interact in a collaborative network. The article considers whether such collaborative networks can be created and evaluates some of the recommendations from The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina as potentially helping to create collaborative networks.

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