Hurricane Katrina Was One of essay

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Churches were able to provide food and shelter in a timely and efficient manner. Faith-based organizations also had the assistance of church members who were eager to volunteer.


As a result of the findings presented in this discussion, it is recommended that the American Red Cross and other disaster relief agencies carefully examined their preparedness for future disasters. The research indicates that the Red Cross was ill prepared to handle the amount of people that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The lack of preparedness extended into the way that the organization served certain communities in the aftermath of the Hurricane. For instance, many Latino's and other English Language learners were not given the appropriate assistance because people assumed that they were workers and not survivors of the storm. In the future the Red Cross can avoid treating people in this manner by diversifying its staff and ensuring that there are bilingual workers on scene who are ready and able to assist the people that need help.

In addition, it appears that assistance such as vouchers were given to people who were not survivors of the Hurricane. These types of mistakes are extremely detrimental and have a negative impact on the image of the American Red Cross. The red Cross has also been accused of misappropriating funds. Overall it seems that the organization is in need of a greater amount of accountability. A great deal of money was being handled but there was no accountability for where the money was going. The ARC has already begun to make some changes. These changes are due in part to the scrutiny of the FBI and American citizens who gave a great deal of money to the organization in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Churches were rather successful in their bids to assist people following the Hurricane. Although churches are not professional relief organizations, they were better able to handle the needs of people in a way that was rapid in efficient. Scholars have not yet provided us with research as it pertains to how churches were able to carry out relief efforts in such successful ways, while the organizations such as FEMA and the Red Cross struggled substantially to assist people who needed help. It has been noted in the discussion that Churches had fewer people to assist than did the Red Cross and FEMA. However, it can also be argued that the structure of the leadership at the churches was more conducive to ensuring that the appropriate measures were carried out.

Perhaps the implementation of a structure that is divided into smaller units could be beneficial to large relief organizations such as the Red Cross. These smaller Units should be responsible for assisting a limited number of people. This would give the red cross a structure that is more similar to that of churches that were able to assists people so effectively.

Overall the non-profit organizations must do a better job of managing disasters. This can be done by seeking the assistance from experts in the field of disaster management. These experts should be made a permanent part of the staff so that they can utilize their expertise to assist the organization in improving the ability of the company to function effectively. The handling of Katrina was particularly startling because the disaster occurred after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. As such these organizations should have had a better approach and plan as it pertained to getting relief to the people who needed it in a timely manner.


The purpose of this discussion was to examine the Role of Volunteer Agencies in Response to Hurricane Katrina. The research found that organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army were active in attempting to assist people in the aftermath of the hurricane. The research also indicates that churches played an active role in assisting survivors of the Hurricane. The research examined the successes and failure of volunteer agencies in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The American Red Cross did a great deal to assist survivors; however their attempts at assisting people were also problematic. This is particularly true of minorities including Latinos. A major complaint concerning the American Red Cross is that it was ill prepared to serve English Language Learners.

The research also focused on the manner in which society can learn from these successes and failures so that future responses are improved. The research indicates that in the future non-profit organizations can see the mistakes that the Red Cross and other organizations made and not repeat these same mistakes. Additionally, the Red Cross can reorganize the structure of the organization so that the new structure is conducive to managing disasters. When disasters occur in the future there should be a better understanding of how to assist people when disastrous events do occur. For the most part churches were well equipped to handle the people who were seeking help.

Works Cited

Dyson, E. Come Hell or High Water. Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster.

Fast Facts: American Red Cross Response to Hurricane Katrina. Retrieved September 29, 2009 from;

Hartman, C.W., Squires, G.D. (2006) There is no such thing as a natural disaster: race, class, and Hurricane Katrina. Routledge.

Mills, M.A., Edmondson D., and Park, C.L. (2007).Trauma and Stress Response Among Hurricane Katrina Evacuees. American Journal of Public Health Vol 97 (1)

Muniz, B (2006) - in the eye of the storm: how the government and private response to Hurricane Katrina failed. Retrieved September 29, 2009 from;

Nigg, J.M. John Barnshaw and Manuel R. Torres. Hurricane Katrina and the Flooding of New Orleans: Emergent Issues in Sheltering and Temporary Housing. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 2006; 604; 113

Salvation Army continues Long-Term Hurricane Katrina Recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana. Retrieved September 29, 2009…[continue]

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