Using primary sources--many of which have not been read in decades--MacDonald chronicles the devastating 1917 explosion that flattened much of the ...Show synopsisUsing primary sources--many of which have not been read in decades--MacDonald chronicles the devastating 1917 explosion that flattened much of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, when two ships bound for war-torn Europe collided in the harbor. 40 illustrations. 2 maps.Hide synopsis
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Kudos to Laura MacDonald for all her research and reminding us in these times of how a city can do disaster recovery right!
This is a true story about Halifax, a Canadian seaport city of 60,000, successfully coped with an unimaginable tragedy - the worst accidental explosion in history in 1917. Without warning, and without special training, the elected officials, gov't administrators, and the ordinary citizens, aided by volunteers from Canada and the US, especially Boston, rallied to rescue and treat the thousands of injured people and then rehabillitate them, renovate and replace the damaged homes and apartments, and bury the dead. When you compare how Halifax handled the disaster in comparison to New Orleans, you see how much the local, state, and federal gov't officials failed the residents of The Big Easy. Halifax's people and their gov't responded to the emergency in a remarkable way.
I think every elected official, and every gov't administrator, especially those in emergency services or disaster preparedness or homeland security, should be required to read this book. In addition to reading about how a city did most things right, there are invaluable lessons for every city to learn. If you don't want your community to experience a Katrina-like disaster, send a copy to your gov't official in charge of disaster preparedness after you're done reading this excellent book!
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