Natural Disasters

Did the government respond to Hurricane Katrina correctly? | by Sebarahonalagu | Sep, 2021


Due to the mass destruction from the storm and the extended effect of severe flooding in the City of New Orleans, the effort of recovery for Hurricane Katrina has by far been the most expensive natural disaster in history, and in many ways, the recovery effort may still be taking place to this day. Due to Red tape, many people who needed help couldn’t get any fast enough, they made it harder for people to receive funding and get help rebuilding. Many people applied for aid, but less than 500 people actually got it. Some emergency supplies were prepositioned before the storm, but there was nowhere near enough. In places that desperately needed help, such as the New Orleans Superdome, it took multiple days to deliver general supplies. FEMA also wasted huge amounts of supplies. It delivered millions of pounds of ice to holding centers in cities far away from the Gulf Coast. FEMA sent truckers bringing ice on wild goose chases across the country. Two years after the storm occurred, the agency ended up throwing out over $100 million of unused ice and some other supplies. FEMA even paid for 25,000 mobile homes costing $900 million, but they went virtually unused because of FEMA’s own regulations that such homes cannot be used on flood plains, which is where most Katrina victims lived. The government was unprepared for Katrina even though it was widely known that such a hurricane was probable, and weather forecasters had accurately predicted the advance of Katrina before landfall. A year prior to Katrina, government agencies had performed a simulation exercise — “Hurricane Pam” — for a hurricane of similar strength hitting New Orleans, but governments “failed to learn important lessons” from the exercise.

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