Disaster

Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security

Christoper Cooper and Robert Block

Times Books

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Based on exclusive interviews, the inside story of how America’s emergency response system failed and how it remains dangerously broken
 
When Hurricane Katrina roared ashore on the morning of August 29, 2005, federal and state officials were not prepared for the devastation it would bring—despite all the drills, exercises, and warnings. In this troubling exposé of what went wrong, Christopher Cooper and Robert Block of The Wall Street Journal show that the flaws go much deeper than out-of-touch federal bureaucrats or overwhelmed local politicians.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with federal, state, and local officials, Cooper and Block take readers inside the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to reveal the inexcusable mismanagement during Hurricane Katrina—the bad decisions that were made, the facts that were ignored, the individuals who saw that the system was broken but were unable to fix it. America’s top emergency response officials had long known that a calamitous hurricane was likely to hit New Orleans, but that seems to have had little effect on planning or execution.

Disaster demonstrates that the incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina is a wake-up call to all Americans, wherever they live, about how distressingly vulnerable we remain. Washington is ill equipped to handle large-scale emergencies, be they floods or fires, natural events or terrorist attacks, and Cooper and Block make a strong case for overhauling of the nation’s emergency response system. This is a book that no American can afford to ignore.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One 
The Perfect Storm
 
The perfect storm is as predictable as it is inexorable. Born in the Atlantic Ocean, it hits Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and Cuba, and it grows bigger as it moves through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Though there is plenty of time to flee, many residents along the Gulf Coast stay put. And just as predicted, this storm makes a straight track for the tiny camp town of Grand Isle, Louisiana, obliterates it, and moves north toward New Orleans.
 
The hurricane moves upriver for nearly sixty miles, leaving catastrophe in its wake.

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Reviews

Praise for Disaster

“Tightly crafted, very readable . . . the best in-depth contemporary analysis we are going to get . . . Given that future catastrophes are inevitable, this book is a call to arms to demand a far more competent federal emergency response than Washington has been willing to provide.”
--Stephen Flynn, The Washington Post

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About the Author

Christoper Cooper and Robert Block

Christopher Cooper is a White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and a former political reporter at The Times-Picayune. Robert Block covers the Department of Homeland Security for The Wall Street Journal and is a former foreign correspondent who has reported on terrorism and war from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Both authors live in Washington, D.C.

Robert Block
Christopher Cooper

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Available Formats and Book Details

Disaster
Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security
Christoper Cooper and Robert Block

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Times Books
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429900249
ISBN10: 1429900245
352 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Henry Holt and Co.
Holt Paperbacks
May 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805086508
ISBN10: 0805086501
5 11/16 x 8 7/8 inches, 352 pages, Includes eight page of black-and-white photographs
$19.99
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