In this essay, I present a communitarian view as to how we might best respond to disaster, and in particular, to losses suffered by the direct victims of disaster. My focus will be on financial compensation to disaster victims, which admittedly occupies only a small part of the spectrum of disaster response. Emergency "first responder" activities are matters about which I have no expertise; volunteering at my local food bank hardly qualifies me to advise FEMA or the Red Cross. The blunders for which these organizations have recently been responsible are apparent, and so are some of their causes, but the engineering of more effective responses is a matter on which I would be foolish to opine.' My background in tort law, conflict resolution, and administrative law does provide a modicum of expertise on compensation systems, so it is in that area that I will offer some communitarian principles and suggest some practical considerations.
Disaster Law | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | International Humanitarian Law
Robert M. Ackerman, Mitigating Disaster: A Communitarian Response, 9 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 283 (2008).