Imagine that Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 hurricane, has just ravaged the hospital in which you took shelter. Now the flood waters are rising, there isn’t any power, it’s extremely hot, and you feel as if you have been abandoned. Who decides who leads? Who lives? Who dies? Who suffers? Is anyone ever qualified to make those decisions? New York Times rated Five Days at Memorial-Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Pulitzer Prize winning author Sheri Fink as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013. This is the true and tragic story of what happened in New Orleans at Memorial Medical Center in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in August of 2005. It is obvious the years of research and interviews that Sheri Fink put into creating this book. She does a great job of trying to remain neutral and get multiple perspectives of the tragedy. This is a great read for a book group. There are plenty of ethical and moral dilemmas for
conversation. The take home message for me after reading this book is to follow the Boy Scout Motto, “Be prepared.” Create procedures and guidelines for “what if” situations and be prepared to alter those guidelines when unpredictable situations arise.