California: The Role of the State in Disaster Response

Jul 27, 2006Jul 28, 2006
CSAC Conference Center<br /> 1020 11th Street, 2nd Floor<br /> Sacramento, California

Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright
Senior Scholar
Mercatus Center at GMU

Dr. Mary Comerio
Professor of Architecture
UC Berkeley

Dr. Dan Farber
Sho Sato Professor of Law
UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall

Nearly a year has passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the United States.  And while efforts to rebuild are well underway in many of the Gulf Coast communities devastated by the storm, the appalling accounts of human suffering in the aftermath of the hurricane have lingered in the minds of Americans.

Hurricane Katrina was neither the first nor the last major disaster to hit the United States, but preparations and response were clearly inadequate.  In order to prevent the next disaster from becoming a tragedy, policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels must consider the institutions and policies that succeeded and failed in the wake of Katrina and other calamities.

California is no stranger to natural disasters.  This course will bring fresh insight to the question of disaster response and recovery on the state level by exploring the lessons of Katrina and other tragedies as they apply to California. 

Participants will address such questions as:

  • What can the Katrina tragedy reveal about successful and unsuccessful disaster response policies?
  • What are the strengths of the public, non-profit, and for-profit sectors in disaster response and why?  How can the consideration of those strengths contribute to more effective policymaking in California?
  • How is disaster response authority divided among federal, state, and local governments?  What challenges does the current regulatory framework pose to successful cooperation among these jurisdictions?