Hurricane Katrina Impact

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Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans August 23, 2005 as a Category 3 storm. It was one of the costliest and deadliest natural disasters to occur in the United States history. The final death toll was 1, 836 and more than half of these victims were senior citizens. The hurricane caused $81 billion in property damages. Additionally, the total economic impact is expected to exceed $150 billion. ("11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina")
Before the hurricane landed, officials were well-aware of the threat the topography of New Orleans posed to its citizens. Even a former senator, David Vitter (LA), mentioned that a major hurricane smashing New Orleans and flooding the city was not a case of “if” rather “when”. (Glasser, Grunwald) New Orleans is typically described as a “fish bowl” due to the major bodies of water surrounding it and the city being below sea level. This topography increases the city’s vulnerability to floods. Given that hurricanes tend to carry surges of wate, they
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On the other hand, approximately 70,000 citizens remained. These citizens generally belonged to disadvantaged populations such as low-income citizens, senior citizens, or they required other special needs. When Hurricane Katrina landed, it left the city relatively intact; nevertheless, levee breeches flooded the city. During the response phase, emergency management officials were not prepared to respond because many aspects of their emergency operations plan were left “To Be Determined” (TBD). Because the Hurricane Pam project was eliminated, the TBD areas were not adequately addressed. Therefore, emergency managers struggled to provide relief in these unaddressed areas. These areas included medical assistance, quick evacuation, shelter, and law and order. Emergency managers also struggled with gathering and providing information to officials whom could provide relief.
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