Wal-Mart to the Rescue

Private Enterprise's Response to Hurricane Katrina

Originally published in The Independent Review

This paper describes aspects of Wal-Mart’s emergency response system and details their actions during the storm.

Wal-Mart delivered truckloads of supplies, including free prescription drugs, to those devastated by Hurricane Katrina almost immediately after the storm passed, rather than in the days—in some cases weeks—that it took government agencies to provide relief. The fundamental reason for such superior performance is that private ownership and the price system give competitive firms stronger incentives and better information on which to act quickly and flexibly during disasters.

Read the article at the Independent Review.

Horwitz, Steven. "Wal-Mart to the Rescue: Private Enterprise's Response to Hurricane Katrina." The Independent Review 13, no. 4 (2009).

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