Essay on Hurricane Katrina

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Introduction The initial response or lack thereof, to the widespread disaster in the Gulf Coast, caused by Hurricane Katrina, demonstrated high levels of incompetence and disorganization by government officials. Images of desperate individuals awaiting rescue on their rooftops, and masses of people packed together in deplorable conditions in the Super Dome, circulated the globe. There was no hiding from the painful reality and the obvious inaction or inability of those responsible to care for these individual in the wake of this catastrophe. (12, 791) Although a considerable amount of the blame has been placed at the feet of FEMA, it should be understood that multiple factors contributed to the situation in New Orleans. Some sections of…show more content…
As a result, FEMA was unprepared for Hurricane Katrina. After a state of emergency was declared, FEMA should have responded by working in coordination with state and local authorities to prepare for this disaster, but they did not. Nobody at FEMA or the DOD ordered essential supplies, such as food, water and medical supplies, to be deployed to the area. (3, 528) CONTRIBUTING FACTORS Disasters are, by their very definition, rare events that overwhelm the capacity of normal public organizations. (1, 28) The relationship between the cities and county government was considered to be poor prior to the storm, so too was the relationship between the county and the state. It is believed that these poor relations contributed to the poor response and recovery efforts. (1, 15) Many of the obstacles and complications encountered during Hurricane Katrina may have been avoided if the training exercise labeled “Hurricane Pam” would have been completed in 2004. The fictional exercise was five-days long, and was intended to help prepare New Orleans for a category 4 hurricane. Over 50 officials from parish, state, volunteer, and federal organizations participated, unfortunately FEMA caused an early termination of this event by pulling its funding. Consequently, the communications, evacuation, transportation, and medical care issues were never properly addressed. The

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