Does America Need a New Model for Disaster Relief?

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Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana and Mississippi in August of 2012.  Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey several weeks later.  The Red Cross claimed its relief efforts had been “flawless.” But internal documents and insider interviews show more concern about appearing to provide assistance than actually doing the real thing. That’s according to investigative reports by Pro Publica and NPR, denounced by the Red Cross as sensational “witch hunts.” The agency refused to open its records and went to court, claiming release of what it called “trade secrets” would cause it “competitive harm.” How did the Red Cross spend hundreds of millions of donated dollars?  Is it prepared to handle future disasters?

Credits

Guests:
Jesse Eisinger - ProPublica - @eisingerj, Richard Rieckenberg - Red Cross, Laura Howe - Red Cross - @infobabe, Bob Ottenhoff - Center for Disaster Philanthropy - @BobOttenhoff

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Claire Martin, Benjamin Gottlieb, Jenny Hamel