“Damaged by Katrina, Ruined by Murphy Oil”
The scientific uncertainty, as well as the downplaying or misreporting of spill size and flow, contributes to the inability of affected community members, responders, and scientists to respond effectively to an oil spill. One might add that many other uncertainties associated with the spill the health of the cleanup workers, the state of the fisheries, the psychosocial impact on Gulf coastal communities, and a host of other uncertainties still remain. Three decades of disaster research have convinced the author that the chapter examines to learn some general lessons about disasters by analyzing the nature of uncertainty in the wake of catastrophe. As the chapter witnessed, in times of calamity, corporations, state agencies, social advocacy organizations, and other actors attempt to control disaster narratives by adopting public relations strategies that may either downplay or amplify a sense of uncertainty in order to advance political and policy goals.