Available NOW on Amazon Kindle – Cover Photo: Squad Officer Don Gunning surveys a debris field in Hancock County, MS.

Here’s the bottom line:  if nothing else, this book will make you more aware of the wrath of nature.  Hopefully, it will also make you start to think about what steps you would take to protect your family BEFORE something like this happens again. If you make it a priority, it will make itself so. It costs nothing to start planning in your head what you would do the time the next big one hits.  And I’m not just talking about hurricanes here.  Start thinking about what action you would take, talk it over with your family. Planning is a great first step that costs nothing and can save your life in the long run.

Video Message From the Author

Hurricane Katrina – A Journey of Hope

In September, 2005, Rhode Island deployed its trained but untested USAR Task Force 1 (RITF1) to Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  No amount of training could prepare anyone for the destruction that was unleashed by the 25-foot storm surge that swept inland as Katrina made landfall.  This book serves to document some of the challenges and obstacles that RITF1 faced and overcame along the way.

I am confident that learning about my experience can only make you desire to be better prepared, as you will learn first-hand a small piece of what goes into recovery efforts following a natural disaster.

This book was originally published in a limited run in December of 2005… a mere 3 months after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. I spent countless hours turning my photographs into a story, to re-tell my experience, share a first-hand account of the devastation, and provide hope to both Gulf Coast residents and American citizens in general. Working side by side with other USAR units from across the country provided a sense of teamwork, camaraderie and overwhelming sense of pride as so many men and women stepped up to help their fellow countrymen.


This book is intended for readers who want to learn more about Hurricane Katrina, or USAR in general. It would also engage readers interested in photography, as the book has large, high quality photos to help tell the story. Lastly, readers in technology, specifically geographic information systems (GIS), would benefit from this book. The primary technical skill set I utilized while deployed was manipulation of geospatial data to produce maps for responders.  Much has changed since September, 2005.  A laptop or tablet device can now perform many of the same geospatial analyses that would have required a small team of GIS professionals in 2005. While there is comfort in relying in technology when times are good, we must remember that ultimately, we rely on ourselves and each other when things go bad.

Many disciplines were involved in the FEMA-coordinated rescue and recovery efforts following the landfall of Hurricane Katrina in September, 2005. Urban Search and Rescue, or USAR for short, is a discipline that came into the forefront of public awareness after the events of 9-11 exposed the need for specialized crews that could effectively rescue those trapped in collapsed structures made of reinforced concrete.  Following those tragic events, many states received funding from the Department of Homeland Security to develop USAR capabilities.   The work is dangerous, unglamorous, and demanding, both physically and mentally. USAR crews must train to operate in a variety of disciplines and be prepared to operate in all-hazard environments ranging from natural disasters to terrorist events.

That is fine.  You can actually download the free kindle reader from Amazon and view it for free on almost any computer or even on your smartphone.  The important thing is to make sure that you are notified when it is released because you will have an opportunity to get it at no cost, but only for a short window of time.  Keep reading to find out more.  And if you really want to get a kindle, get one here.

Get it NOW!


Giving Back


The Importance of Paying it Ahead

When I recently published “Hurricane Katrina – A Journey of Hope” I made a pledge that I would pay forward my first royalty check to my local fire department, and my second check to the Rhode Island Urban Search and […]

Cool Gear

Maxpedition Jumbo E.D.C. Versipack (Black)

Adventure Medical Kits Trauma Packwith QuikClot

The Bug Out Bag: What You Need to Stay Alive