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Hurricane Katrina and Incident Management Principles Essay


This paper provides information about the possible implementation of four principles of incident management in the example of Hurricane Katrina. It investigates their applicability to the emergency case and suggests the methods of their utilization, as well as reflects on the outcomes of their execution. The paper concludes that proper mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery measures may prevent and decrease the risks of adverse consequences of catastrophes.

Incident Management Principles

The categorization of incident management principles serves as a guide for the prediction of damages and complications and prioritization of activities aimed to manage the adverse consequences (Huang & Xiao, 2015). During Katrina, these measures were not appropriately implemented, which led to severe outcomes. For example, the evacuations were not performed properly, the elements of the National Response Plan were executed ineffectively, and the Department of Homeland Security was not prepared for the catastrophe; there was a lack of communication and control (Davis, 2006). The proper implementation of incident management principles could have eliminated such consequences.


The primary objective of the mitigation principle is to reduce the risks of possible disaster and prevent its adverse consequences (Whybark, 2015). The utilization of this measure could have included research about the management of other similar disasters and the effectiveness of the measures taken. Analysis of previous achievements in the incident administration would have allowed for the adaption of several mitigation measures including the improvement of levees’ construction techniques and establishing building codes.

It is also crucial to develop early warning and crisis communication systems to prevent the terrible outcomes of the catastrophe (Kienzler, Pech, Kreibich, Müller, & Thieken, 2015). In the case of Katrina, such measures could have improved the situational awareness, and the response efforts would have been more effective, resulting in a decrease in losses.

Moreover, it might have been useful to assess the communities’ vulnerability to severe winds and floods and develop measures for improvement of the situation. As a mitigation measure, the government could have encouraged architectural design and roof shape standards to increase their resistance to strong winds. The states could have improved the location or the design of power lines to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply for shelters and hospitals in case the incident occurs. This measure could have prevented the power cut in Mississippi and severe wind and water damages.


The terrible consequences caused by Hurricane Katrina could have been decreased if staff had received proper emergency training before the catastrophe. As a measure of preparedness, it would have been necessary to provide educational programs for the police, medical professionals, firefighters, and other personnel involved in future incident management. Moreover, as the government had been aware of the coming catastrophe several days before it occurred, it would have been effective to rehearse evacuation plans. Arranging timely distribution of equipment and supply kits to possibly affected areas before the catastrophe would have reduced the number of preventable deaths.

Private preparedness may play a crucial role in the management of the consequences of the catastrophe as well (Kienzler et al., 2015). For example, before the emergency, the government could have informed individuals about possible precautionary methods. These include the adaption of building use and furnishing and purchasing water barriers, as well as stressing the significance of evacuation in case of emergency (Kienzler et al., 2015). It is crucial to note that during the hurricane, many people assumed that they would not be affected by it, which reveals the problem of risk perception. To ensure a high level of preparedness, it would have been necessary to increase the level of awareness of the population.


The effective response measures imply the implementation of preparedness principles. For example, the report shows that many people decided to stay at home during the outbreak of the hurricane, which caused many preventable deaths (Davis, 2006). It could have been the result of the lack of communication between the government and the population. The situation might have been improved if ineffective coordination of the Department of Homeland security during the hurricane would have been prevented. Moreover, to implement proper response measures, the National Guard and active-duty forces should have joined their efforts to control the situation. It would have prevented their disintegration and contributed to the states’ faster reaction to the catastrophe.


Recovery measures taken by the states were effective for supporting the quality of life of the community after the incident. However, the efforts of the government could have been improved. For example, the states could have established long-term care and treatment programs for affected individuals, including those who had limited insurance coverage. Also, it would have been effective to implement financial assistance centers and programs to ensure that the population can improve their living conditions after the catastrophe.


Hurricane Katrina is a catastrophe that caused much damage and many unnecessary losses. It could have been improved by the timely implementation of four incident management principles that include mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Their utilization could have enhanced the government’s ability to arrange the plans of emergency supply, develop better communication between the authorities and the population, and raise the individuals’ awareness of the risks. To prevent the adverse outcomes of future incidents, it is necessary to address the results of incident management and consider them.


Davis, T. (2006). A failure of initiative. Final report of the select bipartisan committee to investigate the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina. Web.

Huang, Q., & Xiao, Y. (2015). Geographic situational awareness: Mining tweets for disaster preparedness, emergency response, impact, and recovery. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 4(3), 1549-1568. Web.

Kienzler, S., Pech, I., Kreibich, H., Müller, M., & Thieken, A. H. (2015). After the extreme flood in 2002: Changes in preparedness, response and recovery of flood-affected residents in Germany between 2005 and 2011. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 15(3), 505-526.

Whybark, D. C. (2015). Co-creation of improved quality in disaster response and recovery. International Journal of Quality Innovation, 1(1), 3. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Hurricane Katrina and Incident Management Principles'. 7 January.

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