Superb Focus on Culture Underlying Catastrophe,
The editors write: “One of the common sources of the policy-practice defect is its construction on culturally bound assumptions. In disaster contexts, aid often gets delivred in inappropriate forms and according to unsuited principles.” The book excells at looking at the uneven record of disaster preparedness, and the lack of understanding to local contexts that often help turn disasters into catastrophes.
I recommend this book as a primary reference for national security practitioners as well as state & local responders. The … billions now in the Homeland Security budget was not designed with this book's lessons in mind, and will in all likelihood do more damage than good when we are tested again.
The message of the book is so important it merits emphasis–no amount of money is going to prevent catastrophe–absent a commitment to creating a culture of attention and interoperability and information sharing, we will create our own catastrophes each time we are challenged by what could have been nothing more than a localized disaster.