Paying for Disasters

Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2456
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2456a

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Disasters and Democracy The Politics of Extreme Natural Events. Rutherford Platt et al. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1999. 343 pp. Paper, $35. ISBN 1-55963-696-3.

Platt and his co-authors discuss how and why the United States has come to federalize the costs of natural disasters. Their comprehensive overview is reinforced through three case studies: coastal erosion on Fire Island, New York; flooding in St. Charles County, Missouri; and earthquakes and fires in the San Francisco Bay area.