On paper, how a government responds to a variety of crises - whether a terrorism attack, a major hurricane, an earthquake,an Ebola crisis, or an oil spill - is fairly well thought out, practiced, and understood. And yet, when the disaster does arrive, it always appears that the government is overwhelmed and confused, as if it were making it up as it went along. This is as true for private entities. To understand crises response takes more than skills in communication or incident command; it takes an understanding of the complex political, regulatory, international, and legal regimes that govern the incident and the skills to manage these different and sometimes conflicting concerns. Drawing mostly on case studies and lessons learned, from Ebola, to Hurricane Sandy, to the B.P. Oil Spill, Boston Marathon and everything in between, the course will provide to all students a deeper understanding not merely of the mechanics of crises response but how the law, politics, and policy empower and hinder our capability to respond.