Americorps members from Manhattan, Kansas remove debris from a Greensburg, Kansas business destroyed in the 2007 F5 tornado.
Read and Learn
We believe in learning from the past. So featured here are books that share the stories of recent disasters and how elected officials led their communities through the recovery. We welcome your suggestions!
Masters of Disaster
The Political and Leadership Lessons of America's Greatest Disasters
"It's a great idea. The lessons learned and experiences gained through a disaster are so helpful to instruct or guide people. It's just so valuable that experience, and so helpful. There's an art to this."
Mayor Joe Riley / Charleston, SC
"I would love to have had someone saying 'for the next 3 weeks here's what you need to focus on'. That would have really helped me. There really wasn't a lot of information passed on to us about what was coming in the weeks and months ahead. I remember pulling articles from the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We did our best to anticipate a lot of issues."
Mayor Walter Maddox / Tuscaloosa, AL
"A website would be really helpful. The ability to link to somebody, talk to somebody in a city of 10,000 or 300,000. There is just some consolation to hearing affirmation. Truthfully, the emotional support means a lot."
Mayor Ted Ellis / Bluffton, IN / Former Pres., National League of Cities
"There's a lot of people sit back and say, 'Oh my God! What am I going to do?' At times, you just need someone to talk to about what you need to be doing next."
Mayor Gregg Kennedy / Smithville, MS
"You're going to get the first call. So you'd better have some answers. You have five minutes! You need to know what you're going to do."
Mayor Harry Lewis / Rayville, LA
"If we keep educating folks - however it needs to be done - but if we can keep educating and letting them know what we know now and wished we had known back then, I think we'll all be better off."
Mayor Eddie Favre / Bay St. Louis, MS
"I think it's very important. It gives us an opportunity to take lessons learned and mistakes made and pass them forward and help people make the right decisions and keep from making the wrong ones."
Mayor Brent Warr / Gulfport, MS
"Anytime you tap on experience, that's a whole lot better a lot of times than a bunch of books. If you have somebody that lived it say, this is what you need to do. Especially if it worked out."