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Role Reversal

Offers of Help from Other Countries in Reponse to Hurricane Katrina

By Anne C. Richard

After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States on the morning of August 29, 2005, offers of help from other countries poured in on the US Government. Not used to being a recipient of foreign aid, the federal government replied slowly and with mixed signals. This monograph tells the story of these foreign contributions and the U.S. response. Lessons from this experience suggest that plans for a vetting mechanism should be drawn up now so that it is widely understood before the next large-scale crisis hits. In addition, the international community should adopt a uniform list of goods for stockpiling and use in a crisis, and should meet to reach agreement on the best ways to respond to crises. Effective crisis response is an important part of national security.

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