Instructive Lessons From Past Disasters

Jan 11, 2019

A firefighter searches for human remains in a trailer park destroyed in the Camp Fire, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.
Credit John Lochen / AP Photo

We talked about the finite patience among fire victims and the larger community in the fire’s wake. The outpouring of unequivocal generosity during the disaster continues, but appears more muted with the passage of time. It turns out, instant solidarity and sudden comradery is quite common in a catastrophe, as are the fissures and disputes that arise as emergencies fade into memory. Laird Easton wrote about this in a recent Washington Post Op-ed piece. He's a professor of history at Cal state here in Chico, where he teaches a course on disaster. He came to our studios this week.