On 28 August 2005 — Sheri Fink’s Day One — Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans. The National Weather Service warned that ‘human suffering will be incrdible by modern standards’. Fink’s enormous book chronicles that suffering as experienced inside the Memorial Medical Centre, one of the city’s biggest hospitals. Traditionally, staff had sheltered from hurricanes in Memorial,
bringing along kids, parents and grand-parents, dogs, cats and rabbits, and coolers and grocery bags packed with party chips, cheese dip and muffulettos.