Looking Ahead

New Orleans Hosts Apocalypse Exhibition

Salesmen, emergency managers, and government officials met at the Morial Convention Center, where some of the most harrowing images from Hurricane Katrina were recorded, to mingle around $45,000 field toilets and other tools of the disaster-response trade. Everyone from big-box store and hospital-chain managers to National Guardsmen, Coast Guard officers, and staff from the Red Cross were there to peruse the offerings in anticipation for the next natural disaster. Here's a look inside the big business of preparing for mass destruction, where the average loss over the past decade has been an estimated $187 billion yearly.