As we come up on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the terrible devastation wrought by the hurricane is in the headlines again. For those who experienced the storm first-hand, the ongoing struggle to recover is ever-present and this must be a wrenching anniversary. What can we do as a nation to support frontline communities to be better prepared and protected for future disasters?
My colleagues and I continually warned of the inevitable drowning of New Orleans–it would be the Big Easy, our joke went. #43 had the temerity to suggest that “no one could have predicted such an occurrence.” Talking to a contractor in New Orleans a few months after the storm, I was appalled at his brazen braggadocio at how much money he was making on “revitalizing” the city. His cousin was probably building the embassy in Baghdad… In 2004 along the (Republican) Florida Panhandle, I watched FEMA doing backflips for the residents. Coincidence? I think not.