New Orleans: The Heartbreak Of Hurricane Katrina

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On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina attacked the Gulf Coast of the United States. It hit a 3 rating on the hurricane scale and it had winds as high as 140 miles per hour. Many people from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama were left without homes. It caused a hit of around $100 Billion dollars of damage; I don’t think anyone could be prepared for that. This was a huge catastrophe, but many people could have been more prepared. Two whole days before Katrina hit, meteorologists knew of the storm, but the evacuations didn’t start until the day before it hit. Now, naturally, everyone would be in a state of shock making the process even more troubling. So, why is it they didn’t let them know when they first found out? The elevation of most…show more content…
The Coast Guard rescued around 34,000 people just in New Orleans. When they looked toward the government for help, they just seemed even more unprepared. It took day after day for the FEMA to even get to New Orleans and didn’t even have a plan. They even said the president didn’t really get just how bad things were. Many people went into disaster mode, breaking into buildings and hurting people. For people who were stranded (poor people) they had to walk across the bridge. However, police officers made them turn back. Since FEMA has become part of the Department of Homeland Security, it has been a struggle. Funds have been raided, staff has been transferred into other DHS functions without being replaced, slowdowns because of added layers of bureaucracy for nearly all functions have dramatically increased, and there is the constant threat of reprogramming appropriated…show more content…
Emergencies often transcend federalist divisions of power and responsibility, rendering unclear which level of government should respond. Though many emergencies require a coordinated response by local, state, and national government, getting different levels of government to work together in times of crises is difficult. Even when states and localities call for outside assistance, they resist undue federal interference in their affairs a national government that lacks experience working with local actors on the ground can find it difficult to implement relief programs. Hurricane Katrina, causing extensive damage in the Gulf Coast region in August of 2005, vividly illustrated how federalism undermines an effective response to emergencies, with deadly results. Despite years of emergency planning in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9 /11, and ample warning in the days preceding Hurricane Katrina that it would cause widespread destruction, no government, national, state or local adequately prepared vulnerable communities. After Katrina struck, the governmental response was inept. Local governments in New Orleans and other towns were overwhelmed, unable even to communicate with their personnel on the scene. State governments found their resources stretched to breaking point. The national government, cautious about appearing too proactive, delayed its response until specifically asked

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