Hurricane Katrin Emergency Planning

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Week 3 Assignment – Hurricane Katrina
HSM315: Emergency Planning Hurricane Katrina was an extraordinary act of nature that created massive human tragedy. Experts say that Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. This massive hurricane brought with it catastrophic floods, obliteration of numerous homes and business, ruined the offshore energy infrastructures, and caused an estimated $96 billion dollars in damage. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina resulted in an estimated 1,833 human fatalities. Many victims found it significantly difficult to reconstruct their shattered lives. So who is to blame for such massive destruction of property and loss of life? Do we just simply blame Hurricane Katrina …show more content…

Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Some feel that FEMA’s absorption into DHS was to blame for the failure to effectively respond to Hurricane Katrina. There was much unfamiliarity with the revised National Response Plan and the fresh creation of the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s been said that experience is the best teacher. The unfortunate thing is that the learning process is sometimes such a painful one.” (The U.S. House of Representatives, 2006). During a hearing held in October 2005, it was said that FEMA had been under-funded and under-staffed, thus contributing to the unsuccessful response to Hurricane Katrina. Furthermore, there were claims that Congress had undermined FEMA’s effectiveness when it consolidated with the Department of Homeland Security. Ultimately, no one knew what role the Department of Homeland Security played during a disaster situation. Unfortunately, there was a failure of managing the risk factors associated with an actual hurricane affecting New Orleans. The current emergency plan in place at the time of Hurricane Katrina only prepared the area for a Category 3 hurricane. No one anticipated a higher category hurricane could or would hit the area. They took for granted that the probability of a stronger hurricane occurring was low, thus overlooking major risk management identifiers. When Hurricane Katrina actually hit, emergency planners were now being reactive instead of

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