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Edward J. Woodhouse

Was the Hurricane Katrina disaster an aberration, or did it emerge from decision-making processes similar to those governing other public outcomes? Is it more reasonable to expect post-disaster analyses to lead to systematic learning and improved policy, or not to change very much? Most generally, what can be learned about appropriate expertise and usable knowledge from the Katrina experience? I argue that many of the same processes and institutions are at work to create vulnerable populations, design the built environment carelessly with respect to public values, place barriers in the way of preventive action, and make it difficult for experts to contribute to improved outcomes. No doubt there will be some hurricane-specific learning in Katrina's wake, such as more houses on stilts, but political influentials are unlikely to revamp the systemic norms, practices, and institutions that helped shape the disaster. Implications are discussed for interdisciplinary, problem-focused research and community service by scientists, engineers, and other experts.

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Hannah Swee and Zuzana Hrdličková

her ethnographic account of a disaster expert field trip presented in this symposium, Zuzana Hrdličková’s paper shows that the catastrophic experience of the 1999 Orissa Supercyclone in India has led to the creation of new disaster preparedness

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Susann Baez Ullberg

to 2011 completed for my doctoral thesis in which I analyze how social memory and oblivion of past floods is configured in different urban settings and what role this plays for the development of risk reduction and disaster preparedness ( Ullberg 2013

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Zuzana Hrdličková

photos of fallen trees, damaged roads, collapsed electric polls, damaged houses, and flooded fields along with a few photos of local disaster preparedness practices such as anchoring roofs with fishing nets and cyclone shelters. I sometimes wondered

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James Longhurst, Sheila Dwyer, John Lennon, Zhenhua Chen, Rudi Volti, Gopalan Balachandran, Katarina Gephardt, Mathieu Flonneau, Kyle Shelton, and Fiona Wilkie

knowing reference to the genre in the comment that one character’s “understanding of disaster preparedness was based entirely on action movies” [21]), but the heart of the story lies elsewhere. For some reviewers, the scarcity of grim detail seems to be a