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Master of Disaster: Issues and Comentary on disaster management


This book is a compilation of interviews, speeches, essays, op-ed pieces and articles (published and unpublished) completed between 2009 and 2011. The work is of various scales and formats which is as they were originally developed for a variety of different purposes. I have edited and changed many things in it so the words are mine at this point. It is work that is somewhat perishable in as much as each piece was aimed at a particular disaster situation and for a specific audience. However, the principles included in these pieces have a life of their own that outlasts the instance for which they were prepared. Since I am in Australia the work has an Australian tilt. Moreover, many of the disasters in the period covered were in or near Australia and thus created the impetus for me to write or be interviewed. Nonetheless, the geographic locus and focus of the principles here are universal and timeless.


“Ed Blakely’s mastery of disaster was shown clearly in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. His words here may help other communities as they go through similar devastation.”

C. Ray Nagin former mayor of New Orleans and Author of

Secrets of Katrina

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11attacks Ed Blakely’s advice and insights were invaluable in jump starting rebuilding plans for

Lower Manhattan.” Robert D. Yaro, President Regional Plan Association and Chair, Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York

“Ed Blakely has long been a font of new ideas leading countless aspects of planning thought years ahead of their becoming mainstream: Here he’s back at the tiller as an astute practitioner caught up in catastrophic and disruptive natural events around the world: His distilled wisdom is not to be ignored.”

Adjunct Prof Peter Fisher

School of Global Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia