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Rational Public Policy Goal of Penn's Post-Katrina
Conference on Risk and Disasters
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Broad-Based Urban Courts Subject of Symposium
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(c) Corbis 2006
© Corbis 2006
MEMO TO FEMA: A little due diligence before the storm could provide a buffer against catastrophic loss of life and economic ruin when the next Katrina hits. That was the message delivered by Penn Law Professor Matthew Adler at the National Symposium on Risk & Disasters in Washington last December. Adler, who specializes in public law and risk regulation, urged the federal government’s lead emergency management agency to go beyond standard response mode and conduct a cost-benefit analysis in the Gulf Coast and other areas prone to natural disasters.

A systematic study of the conditions in New Orleans — and the potential consequences of a major storm — could have served as a linchpin for rational public policy, moving officials to repair levees, assess building codes, buy high-risk properties, and settle on a responsible evacuation plan well in advance, said Adler.

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