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ZEITOUN: HURRICANES & HUMANS > Different Response Models

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Laura (LauraS) | 3 comments There have been two really interesting stories in the New York Times in the past couple of days about the response to Hurricane Sandy. One highlights the role of the Occupy movement in coordinating on-the-ground response in New York and New Jersey (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/nyr...). The other highlights the demand for generators and emergency supplies (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/bus...). Time and again, we've seen that government institutions are not able to help prevent or respond to disasters, so it makes sense that alternative models are springing up. But I'm wondering what you all think about these different models of response: the open-source, peer-to-peer model in Occupy and the "Mad Max Capitalism" form. What would Zeitoun have said about the strengths and benefits of these models before the storm? What do you think he would have said after the storm? And do you think Kathy would agree with him?

Siobhan | 16 comments Mod
I LOVE this question! Today we watched just a couple of clips from _Beasts of the Southern Wild_ (unfortunately not out on DVD till Dec 4). I read that film as a Katrina allegory; and I read Hushpuppy and her community's responses to storms as closer (though not identical to) your "open-source" example. The people in the film know full well that one day the waters will rise and their "Bathtub" will be submerged, but they're determined to stay and adapt. My sense in our class conversations this week has been that not many UNH undergraduates can really identify with such a strong tie to community and place: whether it's a generational thing or a "digital native" thing, they seem (at least in theory) to be perfectly sanguine about the idea of picking up stakes and moving in case of disaster.

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