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Inventing DisasterThe Culture of Calamity from the Jamestown Colony to the Johnstown Flood$
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Cynthia A. Kierner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652511

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652511.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021



(p.201) Epilogue
Inventing Disaster

Cynthia A. Kierner

University of North Carolina Press

The epilogue skips ahead to the Johnstown flood of 1889, the deadliest disaster to date in U.S. history, and argues that the response to this debacle—due to because of advancements in communication and photography, and the advent of the American Red Cross—was in most respects comparable to that in twenty-first-century America. The main difference was the absence of federal involvement in disaster relief at Johnstown, though the U.S. government began providing disaster relief on an ad hoc basis in the post-Civil War era. The epilogue then examines the normalization of federal involvement in disaster relief and prevention in the twentieth century and the impact of social media on contemporary disaster reporting and relief efforts.

Keywords:   American Red Cross, disaster relief, Disaster Relief Act, Johnstown, Pa, media, photography, popular culture

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