Hurricane Katrina Research Paper

910 Words4 Pages
Hurricane Katrina: the Affects of National Guidance
SFC Guillermo Mora
U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy
Master Leader Course
Class# 003-18
MSG Brandy Phillip Introduction
One of the deadliest hurricanes hit the city of New Orleans, Louisiana on August 29, 2005. Hurricane Katrina did a lot of damage, but its aftermath was catastrophic. Levee breaches led to eighty percent of the city to be flooded causing more than 2,000 deaths and over 100 billion dollars in damages ( staff, 2009). The flooding also stranded 20,000 residents in the Louisiana Superdome and thousands more on rooftops for days. Displaced residents were desperate for help and in much need of food, water and basic essentials. Rescue efforts suffered
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Since the federal government did not have a solid plan in place, that left thousands of city residents stranded on rooftops and inside their homes for days. Over 500 different organizations were involved in sending relief efforts (Moynihan, 2009). These organizations were a combination of federal, state and local agencies. Of all the agencies, four major contributors were assigned tasks in disaster relief. The four agencies are the White House, the Federal Emergency Management Association, Louisiana state officials and New Orleans officials. Each of these agencies have their own leaders and policies and while each operate great independently, they lacked the training and communication to work with each other. This resulted in no clear leader who was in charge of coordinating and managing the relief efforts. There was no clear communication system for multiple agencies to coordinate and transfer important information. C. Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans was frustrated with the relief efforts and stated, “We’re still fighting over authority. A bunch of people are the boss. The state and federal government is doing a two-step dance.” (NYtimes, 2005). Another sign of the continuing battle of who is in charge was the refusal by the governor of Louisiana to sign an agreement by the…show more content…
Knowing this information, the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to preposition enough supplies to handle the volume of displaced residents in the city of New Orleans. Once Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it took the Federal emergency Management Agency three days to grasp the magnitude of the destruction. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected the help of many agencies. One particular agency was the American Red Cross, which was ready to supply food, water and other necessities to those who needed it. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also blocked the delivery of emergency supplies, turned away doctors who wanted to volunteer their services, and turned away Walmart trucks carrying water and food. The federal government was not turning down all of these services because it did not want to help people, it was because decision making by the federal government had been hampered by the uncertainty over bureaucratic rules and
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