Flirting with Disaster is the first thorough examination of government successes and failures in responding to natural disaster situations. The author contrasts the bureaucratic principles that dominate governmental activity with the disruptive effects of disaster and the forms of human behavior that emerge during disaster situations. By comparing case studies of Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Andrew, the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the 1990 floods in South Carolina, the author is able to identify the factors that contribute to effective response to disasters and the conditions under which relatively minor crises may lead to system breakdown. The book looks at an extremely important but previously unexamined area of public administration and public policy; presents a general theory of governmental performance in natural disaster situations; identifies factors contributing to government success or failure in coping with disasters; offers fresh insights into how the government can improve its response in disaster situations; and integrates insights from emergency management studies, agenda-building research, and the study of collective behavior.
Categories: Current Issues, PA Theory, Public Policy