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Making Hurricane Response More Effective

Access to new resource related to solving global problems added to PMWL

Resource provided by Sagar Gogate

9 July 2019 – Mumbai, India – Access to a new resource has been added to the PM World Library (PMWL) related to solving global problems. The new resource is titled “Making Hurricane Response More Effective: Lessons from the Private Sector and the Coast Guard during Katrina” by Steven Horwitz, Professor, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. It was published on SSRN website in March 2008.

It is a general assumption that disaster response is the responsibility of the government and should be centrally directed and financed. This assumption has shaped standard practices in the US historically. In this paper, the author argues how this long-standing notion was proven wrong by the private sector during Hurricane Katrina in 2007 with their extraordinary disaster recovery activities. The paper examines and explains why private retailers like Wal-Mart and the Coast Guards were highly successful in their response during the hurricane and how their decentralised organizational structure was helpful in an effective response. The author explains how the ‘agility’ and ‘discipline’, the two general traits observed in private sector organizations, helped save thousands of lives. And how FEMA, lacking both of them, failed miserably to address the situation.

Section 1 of this paper explores the successful responses to Hurricane Katrina by the private sector and the Coast Guard. Section 2 builds a framework for understanding those successes and focuses on the benefits offered by the private sector and the agility of decentralized organizations. While Section 3 addresses the more detailed recommendations answering what can be the learnings from this fiasco? How the organizational structure of FEMA be to make it more effective? etc.

To access this new resource, go to the “Solving Global Problems” section of the library at click on “Hurricane, Monsoon, Typhoon Response and Recovery ”, scroll down to resource. Must be a registered member and logged-in to access.

This new resource provided through the PMWL university research internship program; to learn more, click here