Katrina Disaster Response Plan

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Near the end of August in 2005 Hurricane Katrina swept the nations southern coastline. Winds within the storm reached a maximum speed of 172mi/h (Category 5). This resulted in 1,300-,1,400 deaths which makes Hurricane Katrina the 5th deadliest Hurricane in U.S. History (Eamon, Fitzpatrick, Truax, 2007, p.117).
How prepared were we for this disaster? The Government Accountability Office determined that part of the failure in planning was the actual plans. The National Response Plan (NRP) establishes comprehensive plans that cover prevention, being prepared, and courses of action to respond to incidents and disasters. The plans were just that, written plans. They were not in operation and measures were not in place. The plan required training
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After the September 11 attacks in 2001, FEMA’s mission to respond to natural disasters became more complicated. At the state and local level, focus was put on terrorist attacks. During the time that Katrina hit, disaster responses plans were focused on, and being developed for terrorist attacks. Natural disaster response plans were not given the same attention. The fictional Hurricane Pam exercises funding was cut short after $850,000 was spent on the exercise. The key decision making was not finished. Communication failures were not covered. Plans to evacuate, transport, and provide care were never finalized and left to be determined at a later date (Roberts,…show more content…
In the aftermath of the storm citizens were urged to evacuate the city by crossing the Crescent City Connection. Groups formed and made the hike to the bridge. On arrival, the bridge was blocked. The blockade set up at the foot of the bridge turned away New Orleans citizens including the sick, elderly and children. Arthur Lawson, the Chief of Gretna Police made the decision to shut down the bridge. This decision was supported by Ronnie Harris the mayor of Gretna. Arthur Lawson stated “Our city was locked down and secured, for the sake of the citizens that left their valuables here to be protected by us.” The decision to protect the property of Gretna citizens and city property over evacuee’s lives was made (Eaton,
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