"Can I quit now?" Michael D. Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, e-mailed an aide as the waters were rising around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. "Can I go home?" Soon enough, he did but not before President George W. Bush made Brown a permanent punchline with his "Heckuva job, Brownie" line. A month later, Brown was recalled to Washington, D.C., by then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; soon after, he resigned as head of FEMA.
Michael Brown may not have done a heckuva job handling the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, but hes done a heckuva job rebuilding his life in the five years since. Today, Brown is a KOA talk-show host who has his own consulting business, does public-speaking gigs around the world on issues of homeland security and crisis management, and blogs on politics -- and now hes written Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, with co-author Ted Schwartz. Much of that indifference, he explains, was with his higher-ups in D.C.: "I'm pulling strings to make these things happen, and nothing happens," he recalled a year after the storm hit.
Brown will be pulling more strings as he talks about that experience and reads from his book at 7:30 p.m. today at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder. For more information, call 303-447-2074 or go to www.boulderbookstore.com.
Mon., June 20, 7:30 p.m., 2011