August 28, 2007

Book Review - Disaster Response and Homeland Security

Hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters have caused lawmakers and organizations to take a hard look at the disaster response system in the United States. Recent disasters have prompted adjustments in this system, but have left the basic structure intact. How is this approach working?

Disaster Response and Homeland Security: What Works, What Doesn't
James F. Miskel
UA 927 .M55 2006

Miskel, a defense contractor and former National Security Council member, closely examines the disaster response system in the United States. He looks at which organizations are involved and how the communicate with one another. He also examines the process by which the system is activated, specifically that which prompts involvement by the Army and the Department of Homeland Security. He spends several chapters analyzing several recent disasters, many of them hurricanes, pointing out successes and failures of the system. He asserts that the adjustments to the existing system, which he feels have been relatively minor, have been ineffective at improving government response to disasters in the United States. He, then, proposes two alternative models on which the disaster response system could be reorganized and makes recommendations for changes to be undertaken in the near future.