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Hurricane Katrina: Emergency Response Essay

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Updated: Dec 24th, 2020

Introduction

Hurricane Katrina became one of the most powerful and devastating natural disasters in the USA in the 21st century. It struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005 and resulted in catastrophic consequences in Florida and Eastern Texas (Zimmermann, 2015).

The storm was a third hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and the most intense cyclone on the record in the USA; it devastated the area and caused numerous deaths among residents (Zimmermann, 2015). Regarding the power of the natural disaster, its management demanded the consolidation of all local resources and improved collaboration at all levels to assist people who found themselves in difficult conditions and provide them with the needed help to minimize harm.

Resources from State and Federal Agencies

Analyzing emergency responses to particular events, the four elements are traditionally taken into account. The first one is the resources from state and federal agencies. Speaking about Katrina insufficient regional planning and coordination should be admitted (“The federal response to Hurricane Katrina,” 2006). In multiple cases, local and federal authorities were not able to discuss their actions and outline a structured plan of the intervention (Department of Homeland Security, 2006).

Additionally, the federal report about the hurricane highlighted that there were significant challenges regarding the use of military forces to mitigate the negative consequences of the disaster (Department of Homeland Security, 2006). In many cases, active duty military had to wait for requests for assistance because of the existing laws (“The federal response to Hurricane Katrina,” 2006). It prevented them from timely responses and provision of help in the most needed areas.

First Responders

Another element is the first responders who participated in the disasters management and provision of the assistance to residents. In accordance with the existing reports, first responders, including police officers, emergency medical services, and fire guard demonstrated an appropriate efficiency and acted regarding the complex conditions in which they occurred (Select Bipartisan Committee, 2006).

Due to the in-time provision of help to the most problematic areas, hundreds of people were saved and provided with the needed shelter. At the same time, first responders demonstrated the high level of cooperation and understanding working together to minimize the negative impact of the hurricane and to avoid new deaths among the population (Department of Homeland Security, 2006). Unprepared people who faced the natural disaster also engaged in activities needed to save communities and assist other victims.

Work of Secondary Emergency Services

The third factor is the work of secondary emergency services. The investigation of the hurricane, its impact on the region, and aftermaths evidences that the Department of Health and Human services had numerous difficulties with managing all patients who had medical issues because of Katrina (Department of Homeland Security, 2006). The local health facilities were not able to provide the needed care to all victims because of the disaster; at the same time, the lack of coordination with other departments resulted in the absence of robust and comprehensive system to deliver human services and care during the hurricane to people who needed it (“The federal response to Hurricane Katrina,” 2006). It became a significant problem and preconditioned the emergence of multiple complications.

Private Sector Resources

Finally, the degree to which private sector resources were utilized should be discussed. According to multiple facts, the efficient work of this sphere became one of the central factors that helped to minimize losses and avoid even more devastating consequences (Department of Homeland Security, 2006). Companies like Wal-Mart provided supplements and needed materials to rescuers; while private networks helped to align communication between federal agencies, local actors, and victims (Department of Homeland Security, 2006). Hospital company HCA guaranteed care to all patients who suffered from Katrina. The private sector managed to avoid frustration and helplessness peculiar to the governors office at the first stages of the hurricane and engaged in the struggle to provide people with all they needed.

Recommendations

The analysis of these elements shows that the private sector and first responders managed to cope with their tasks and made everything to minimize the negative impact of the natural disaster. For this reason, there are no specific recommendations.

However, the federal and state agencies along with the healthcare system were not able to act appropriately regarding the complex conditions. The central reason for this failure was the lack of cooperation between all agencies and the inability to outline the most topical areas (Department of Homeland Security, 2006). For this reason, it could be recommended the further improvement of scenarios that presuppose natural disasters of this sort and describe all actions that should be performed by local, state, and federal agencies to rescue people and provide them with the needed assistance.

Conclusion

Altogether, hurricane Katrina became the most devastating event in the USA in its new era. It resulted in numerous deaths and caused substantial economic harm to the region. At the same time, it revealed the problematic areas related to managing the natural disasters of this sort such as the lack of coordination between authorities and their helplessness in stressful situations. Investigation of this issue demanded credible sources; that is why governmental reports and scholarly books performing the in-depth analysis of the topic were used for the paper.

These sources can be trusted because of the relevant information provided in them. In conclusion, to avoid the repetition of this situation, it is critical to continue improving emergent responses and align better cooperation among all agents to provide timely assistance to victims.

References

Department of Homeland Security. (2006). . Web.

Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. (2006). A failure of initiative. Final report of the select bipartisan committee to investigate the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

. (2006). Web.

Zimmermann, K. (2015). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Hurricane Katrina: Emergency Response." December 24, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/hurricane-katrina-emergency-response/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Hurricane Katrina: Emergency Response'. 24 December.

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