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The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent failure of government agencies and public administrators elicited an unprecedented response by international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) to a disaster in the United States. This paper focuses on why so many INGOs were compelled to provide humanitarian assistance and relief in the United States for the first time and the administrative barriers they faced while doing so. What does such a response reveal about administrative failures in the wake of Katrina, and what might the implications be for reconceptualizing roles for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations in disaster relief? The authors answer these questions using data from interviews with INGO representatives, organizational press releases and Web sites, news articles, and official reports and documentation.