This newsletter is a compilation of recent disaster ~things~ that I think are cool, important, or otherwise of interest to people who are intrigued with disaster (broadly defined).
There’s a little something for everyone!
Happy last day of June, babes.
This is going to be a shorter and different newsletter this month because I am very busy!
I’ve been in New Orleans with a group of students volunteering on Hurricane Ida recovery. We’ve mostly been down in Houma which was hit exceptionally hard by the storm and has received minimal media attention, financial assistance, and help from national disaster NGOs. We’ve been doing the usual hurricane rebuild work — mold remediation, caulking, sanding, painting, etc. It’s also been in the high 90s most of the time so things are slow going. We’re bathing in sunblock and taking plenty of water breaks. Anyway, I’ve barely glanced at the news. Other than knowing that things are even worse than usual in the US, I don’t know what’s going on and I plan to keep it that way for just a few more days. We’ll catch up in July.
On our trip, we’ve had some long drives so I’ve been playing my students some disaster podcasts in between singalongs to Taylor Swift (their choice, not mine if you can believe it!) so I thought it would be a good opportunity to recommend the list of my favorite disaster podcasts. In no particular order…
This is the main podcast I’ve been listening to with my students. It covers some of the broad issues with the response to Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failure. I have not found a better podcast about Katrina. My one criticism is that I wish it was longer. We really need a 10-season podcast to cover what happened. This is my third or fourth time listening to it all the way through and the Michael Brown interview in the last episode never gets less wild.
This podcast is hosted by Sandy Rosenthal, author of Words Whispered in Water. She got her start doing advocacy work in New Orleans post-Katrina and the federal levee failure and has taken that experience and turned it into a podcast. She has had some really great guests on who have talked about how they’ve “beaten the big guys” whether in the disaster context or not.
If you’re looking for a fun disaster podcast, this is it. Jordan Crucchiola and Amanda Smith are disaster movie fanatics and have turned it into a wildly entertaining podcast. Each episode goes through a different disaster movie. They also have really good guests like Paul Feig, Sophia Benoit, and… ahem… me.
I’m pretty sure I reference Hot Take in every single month’s newsletter but that’s because it really is the best climate podcast (with a frequent disaster tilt). Hosts Mary Annaïse Heglar and Amy Westervelt are really brilliant at getting right at the heart of the issue. They’re also very funny which is always much appreciated when dealing with tough topics.
This one is billed as “a true-crime podcast about climate change” and it is exactly that. Also from Amy Westervelt, this podcast investigates the oil and gas industry and shows how we got here and where we are going.
This is definitely one for the disaster nerds! Hosted by two disaster researchers, Dr. Ksenia Chmutina and Dr. Jason von Meding, this podcast covers just about every topic you can think of related to disasters. They regularly have great guests from all over the world who come on to share their work and talk through big-picture disaster concepts.
The End Bits
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