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The Next Catastrophe by Charles Perrow

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4 The Disaster after 9/11The Department of Homeland Security and a New FEMA

If fema represents a promising but flawed attempt to involve the government in natural disasters, the 9/11 crisis presented a challenge to our government that went way beyond those that natural disasters had presented for decades. It also presents a challenge to the thesis of this book.1 The World Trade towers were large targets that could not be reduced; depopulating New York City is not an option. But terrorists could choose to attack any number of other targets that we are now trying to protect, and these targets could be reduced in size. Regardless of that, this chapter will demonstrate the manifold failures of the agency to protect, mitigate, and even recover from ...

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