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Securitization of Disaster Response in the United States: The Case of Hurricane Katrina

Abstract : The story of Hurricane Katrina is one of security overtaking and overriding disaster management from preparedness through response. After September 11th of 2001 fear of terrorism leached funding from preparedness for natural disasters, while the deployment of much of the Louisiana National Guard overseas reduced local response capacity. Armed guards were deployed in shelters and at distributions, even in Mississippi, harder hit by the storm than New Orleans although unaffected by the secondary disaster of the levees. This pattern of actions, often counterproductive, reveals the symbolic role of security in the country, particularly in times of crisis. Using interviews conducted with emergency managers along the GulfCoast, this article explores the effort to shift the discourse from safety to security.A shift that represents a reframing of the crisis into one that falls more clearly within the mandate of the central government, as well as a means of imposing control over uncontrollable and unpredictable natural disasters.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 4:36:10 PM
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Malka Older. Securitization of Disaster Response in the United States: The Case of Hurricane Katrina. Revue Interdiciplinaire de Travaux sur les Amériques, 2016, pp.en ligne. ⟨hal-01520627⟩

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