Science Committee Hears Testimony on Katrina Response

A "laundry list" of lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was presented last week to a committee studying disaster response in New Orleans., the website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper, reports: "The experts discussed why homeowner and business insurance rates skyrocketed in the aftermath of the storm and steps that could be taken to reduce them, how nursing homes face life-or-death challenges in deciding whether to evacuate in advance of hurricanes, and why the perceived power vacuum caused by former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's leadership might have spawned a dramatic increase in local participation in community decision-making."

The committee on increasing national resilience to hazards and disasters was commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies. The academy committee expects to complete its report in late 2012, according to

"Our goal is not just to write a report and walk away, but to provide meaningful, concrete actions that can be taken at various levels of government and ultimately reduce the effects of disasters," said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Institute at the University of South Carolina and chairwoman of the study committee.

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