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Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security
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Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
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 wen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Times Books (first published 2006)
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Christopher Carbone
Apr 07, 2010 Christopher Carbone rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who want to know what went wrong
Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security is not not a Monday-morning Quarter-back session. Its a deep and insightful look at what went horribly wrong. The story is written about the governmental failures at all three levels- the local, state and especially federal levels. It documents the rise and fall of one of the United States' most confused and misunderstood agencies- the Federal Emergency Management Agency - FEMA, and the men and women who collectively used it and ru ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing
I started this book with a serious amount of trepidation thinking that it would be just another cheap bashing of Michael Brown, FEMA Director at the time of Katrina. This is because I have a bachelor’s degree in emergency management, I’m FEMA Advanced Professional certified, voluntary on an animal disaster rescue team and my day job is in the first responder field in Florida. I was here for the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. I also run a blog on personal preparedness.

After Katrina there was a
Nov 08, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Students of history, governmental affairs, and New Orleans
A definitive history of Hurricane Katrina remains to be written, but this is the best behind the scenes account of the disaster I've read so far. Jed Horne's Breach of Faith and Voices Rising by the Katrina Narrative Project focus more closely on the human dimensions of the disaster, but as a blow by blow analysis of myriad governmental failures that allowed the people of the Gulf Coast to suffer without aid for the better part of a week, Disaster is an admirable piece of reporting. It's a compe ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it
Disaster is a thorough inside take on the failures of the local, state and federal responses to Hurricane Katrina. I recommend this book to anyone living in the coastal Gulf states. The budget cuts, mismanagement, miscommunication and ineffective leadership will astound you. I kept up with the Katrina story as it happened because I live in South Louisiana, but Disaster gives a detailed, enlightened view of the story behind the story. Put it on your reading list--you won't be disappointed.
Jan 25, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it
This book provided a thorough account of the leadership and governance failures in the response to Hurricane Katrina. It served as an interesting read and an opportunity to evaluate federal, state, and local issues. Only complaint: the authors had a tendency of repeating pieces of information throughout the book for no specific reason, lest they forgot that they had already covered that tidbit.
Oct 09, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Pretty good book with a "top down" view of what went wrong with Hurrican Katrina. It's not so much the gory details about what happened in New Orleans, but rather how this one whole incident represents a failure of Homeland Secruity; in fact, the author claims, this was a natural consequence of the federal governments response to 9/11 and the war on terror. Beware - this will make you mad!
Dec 13, 2011 M rated it really liked it
If you want to know why the Federal response to Katrina was such a complete failure, this is the book to read. Not only is it clear and informative, it's also a quick and enjoyable read, despite the subject matter.
The title pretty much covers it. There was failure on multiple levels: federal, state, and local authorities. A little slow reading at times, you get bogged down ... I think it will be many more years before all the lessons of Katrina are learned.
Jun 01, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing
The best journalistic account of Hurricane Katrina that I have read. Far better research and written than Brinkley's book.
Jul 18, 2012 Shelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a very informative (albeit it little slanted) narrative and investigation into the sad events of Hurricane Katrina.
Oct 26, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: disasters
Good, comprehensive compilation of events. No sugar-coating here. Everyone gets their fair share of criticism.
Polly Callahan
Jun 22, 2011 Polly Callahan rated it really liked it

excellent insight into bureaucracy and federalism (how to get state & national government agencies to work together)
Sep 07, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing
This book is fascinating - disappointing because it reveals the failures of the state and national administration in the disaster that was the handling of Katrina, but very interesting.
Michael Clark
Michael Clark rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2013
Sean O
Sean O rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2014
Dec 08, 2013 Ron rated it it was amazing
Excellent text in the form of a long, enjoyable Wall Street Journal treatise of the event
Maria rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2015
Tiffany Dyer
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Aug 20, 2015
Alyse rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2012
Janell Straus
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Sep 14, 2016
Stephanie Parker
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Jul 18, 2012
Tegan rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2011
Betsy Boo
Betsy Boo rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2008
Scott C. Walton
Scott C. Walton rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2014
J rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2015
Barbara rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2010
Joe rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2011
Carla rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2007
Angelprincess202007 rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2007
Paul Harper
Paul Harper rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2012
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