Published 2nd Edition of Claire Rubin’s Emergency Management: The American Experience


Claire’s second edition is out with some major reworking including a chapter on the 2011 BP catastrophe by Dr. Jack Harrald.  There is a disclaimer that none of the chapter authors are professional historians. Disclosure: I helped edit both this edition and the first one.

There are some additional disclaimers that might be added although the product is very helpful to me and others just because it fills so many knowledge gaps in the history of EM.

Will EM make it out of this century? Maybe maybe not.

What is of interest in the coverage of this book is the almost total absence of foreign disasters and catastrophes. Perhaps a conclusion could be reached that few have impacted EM in the USA although I would argue some have had impacts. Haiti and Fukishima in total have not had much impact on the USA and this Presidential administration has largely left those events orphan in the US policy field. Whether that was the correct position for the Obama Administration I leave to the future and the judgements of history.

There is almost no discussion of the impact of the military on civilian EM although those who pride themselves as EM are often former military and bring that culture to the subject.

Incorporation into DHS of FEMA has left apparently nothing to conclude in the long run about the impacts of that incorporation except the conclusion it hurt Hurricane Katrina response, although exactly how is largely undocumented. A statutory change effective in 2007, PKEMRA 2006, seems to have quieted FEMA advocates, although whether the “New” FEMA that all talk and write about is up to the level of a catastrophe is still unknown.  There is little discussion of recovery or mitigation in the new edition but gems to exist in the chapters from time to time.

Well in honor of the almost to begin 2012 Hurricane Season do you know how many hurricanes have made landfall in the continental USA since Obama became President?

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