Climate Adaptation and Federal Megadisaster Policy: Lessons from Katrina

This issue brief is one in a series that results from a domestic adaptation research project conducted by Resources for the Future.

The report explains that the existing U.S. natural disaster system of emergency response, private insurance, federal flood insurance, and federal government aid has a proven capacity to cope with natural disasters as long as they do not cross a certain threshold. That threshold was clearly surpassed by Hurricane Katrina, to date the worst natural disaster in American history, and this report addresses the possible responses to such "megadisasters." 

This report includes specific policy recommendations, suggesting that Congress should provide the President with authority to appoint an Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of "megadisasters" immediately after they occur. Responsibilities and authority of this OIC role are detailed.




Publication Date: February 2010

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Marc Landy

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Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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