Importance Of Command Relationship

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The Importance of Command Relationship in Response to Hurricane Katrina
SFC Rande J. Rodrigues
Fort Campbell NCOA

The Importance of Command Relationship in Response to Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest hurricanes and the most destructive and powerful hurricane ever to hit the United States. It was not only the costliest natural disaster ever to hit the U.S. but also the most controversial and highly politicized, with federal, state and local officials blaming each other. Many residents did not heed the initial warnings to evacuate, putting a severe strain on rescue operations. Many critics blamed an aging and neglected federal levee system and a slow state and local response. Even though, fingers pointed in all directions,
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The review of literature on command relationships provides an understanding of how command relationships function in the military and the civilian organizations responsible for coordinating and executing the response activities during a disaster. Unified command, as a part of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), was successfully used after the catastrophic disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi in 2005 (William Carwile, 2005). According to FEMA, NIMS guides all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector to work together to protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from incidents (NIMS, Third Edition, 2017). In a Unified Command with strict command relationships is different than the unified command in the military. Unified command applies to the Incident Command System (ICS) and an incident involving multiple jurisdictions or organizations. It enables instructions and agencies with different legal, geographic, and functional responsibilities to coordinate, plan, and interact effectively. The Incident Commanders within the Unified Command make joint decisions and speak as one voice. Any differences are worked out within the Unified Command (NIMS, Third Edition,…show more content…
Unity of effort is an essential concept in emergency management to provide a rapid and coordinated response. Different types of disasters will require different levels of response, capabilities, and command relationships. Hurricane Katrina will always be remembered by history as one of the most destructive, expensive, and tragic events our country has ever encountered. But with a strong determination, unity of effort, and effective organizational change, the true legacy of Katrina can be that of a catalyst that triggered a real and lasting improvement to our national

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