Cover: Models of Relief

Models of Relief

Learning from Exemplary Practices in International Disaster Management

Published Sep 3, 2007

by Melinda Moore, Horacio R. Trujillo, Brooke Stearns Lawson, Ricardo Basurto-Davila, David K. Evans

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Natural disasters are an unfortunately common occurrence in the United States and countries around the world. In the United States, Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast in 2005 spurred a renewed interest in improving U.S disaster management practices. As such, government entities- from the White House and U.S. Senate to state and local emergency preparedness agencies have been considering how to address the deficiencies in the U.S. system exposed by the Katrina experience. Most of this inquiry has drawn upon the United States’ experience with disasters and the traditional United States principles for disaster management, including preparedness, response and recovery. This study looks to contribute to this inquiry by tapping into the rich body of disaster-related experiences from the broader international community. Collection and analysis of information about the management of disasters around the world provides a new and potentially fruitful avenue to improve disaster management in the United States. This study identifies examples of good practice in disaster management from throughout the world. After motivating this discussion through a case study of Hurricane Katrina to identify problematic areas in the U.S. response, the study presents a series of selected case studies of exemplary disaster management experiences in other countries, and highlights from interviews with international disaster management experts, to identify lessons that could be considered by U.S. policymakers.

The research described in this report was prepared for the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security.

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