U.S. Emergency Management in the 21st Century: From Disaster to Catastrophe explores a critical issue in American public policy: Are the current public sector emergency management systems sufficient to handle future disasters given the environmental and social changes underway? In this timely book, Claire B. Rubin and Susan L. Cutter focus on disaster recovery efforts, community resilience, and public policy issues of related to recent disasters and what they portend for the future.
Beginning with the external societal forces influencing shifts in policy and practice, the next six chapters provide in-depth accounts of recent disasters— the Joplin, Tuscaloosa-Birmingham, and Moore tornadoes, Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the California wildfires. The book concludes with a chapter on loss accounting and a summary chapter on what has gone right, what has gone wrong, and why the federal government may no longer be a reliable partner in emergency management.
Accessible and clearly written by authorities in a wide-range of related fields with local experiences, this book offers a rich array of case studies and describes their significance in shifting emergency management policy and practice, in the United States during the past decade. Through a careful blending of contextual analysis and practical information, this book is essential reading for students, an interested public, and professionals alike.
"This wonderful, important book is timely. Catastrophic disasters do not just happen; they are made. Based on careful presentation of facts and development case studies on disaster recovery, U.S. Emergency Management in the 21st Century discloses why loss to disasters is growing, even though research over the past few decades has improved our understanding of the causes of loss. This book thoughtfully proposes how remedies might be pursued. A must read." — Philip Berke, Research Professor, UNC Coastal Resilience Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Disasters are deeply personal, disrupting and displacing families. This team drills into the full range of human experiences amid natural disasters, laying out the critical questions our Nation must answer as the weirdness of climate marches forward." — Roy Wright, President & CEO, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
"U.S. Emergency Management in the 21st Century, edited by Rubin and Cutter (two of the most influential voices in disaster science and emergency management of our time) and sporting an impressive, multi-disciplinary line up of chapter authors, is an indispensable, well chosen collection of studies that manages not only to drill down deeply in examining some of the major disaster events since the turn of the millennium, but also to place them in a broader historical, scientific, socio-technical and political context. This volume provides unique insights into the practical and scientific challenges faced by the United States government, communities, and academia over the last two decades. The volume highlights the disruptive and deeply unfortunate impacts of inequality, mounting political division and political-administrative turbulence and points to the urgency of changing course for a more sustainable and resilient future." — Eric Stern, Professor of Political Science, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, & Cybersecurity, University at Albany
"This excellent volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of emergency management and disaster resilience in the United States. Calling attention to the flawed policies, deficiencies and inefficiencies of our modern emergency management systems, and the indefensible human consequences, the authors provide a path forward for future leaders, policymakers, and practitioners. Most importantly, the volume makes the case for urgent action and also points the way by calling attention to the need for changes in "our electoral politics, in our understanding of science, and in the value we ascribed to community service and helping others." U.S. Emergency Management in the 21st Century should be required reading in emergency management programs in higher education throughout the U.S." — Jane Kushma, Professor of Emergency Management, Director of JSU Center for Disaster and Community Resilience, Jacksonville State University in Alabama
Claire B. Rubin
2. Tipping Points in Policy and Practice
Susan L. Cutter
3. As Tornado Outbreaks Become More Deadly, Major Changes Happen
Lucy Arendt, Jane Cage, and Renee White
4. Hurricane Sandy: The New York City Experience
5. Hurricane Harvey: Issues for Urban Development
Ashley D. Ross
6. Hurricane Irma and Cascading Impacts
Christopher T. Emrich, Sergio Alvarez, Claire Connolly Knox, Abdul A. Sadiq, and Yao Zhou
7. California Wildfires
David Calkin, Karen Short, and Meg Traci
8. Hurricane Maria: Fragile Settings and Catastrophic Destruction
Jenniffer M. Santos-Hernández, Ashley J. Méndez Heavilin, and Génesis Álvarez Rosario
9. Loss Reduction and Sustainability
10. Summary and Looking Backward and Forward
Susan L. Cutter and Claire B. Rubin