Hurricane Katrina: Disaster Response And Recovery Case Study

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Government Type: Case Study Paper: #57967782 Related Topics: Disaster Management, Government, Fema, Disaster Response
Excerpt from Case Study :

Implementing Emergency Services

Hurricane Katrina: Disaster Response and Recovery

Disaster response Framework

Disasters always put the emergency response team to the test, and the public members are keen to rate their level of preparedness. In the 2005 hurricane season, the disaster response team was caught unprepared, and the response was rated as low. The United states disaster response team had laid some strategies to respond to the different disaster levels, including issuing emergency call numbers. However, the system was not ready for an active hurricane. The state was blamed for failing to coordinate all entities that are involved in disaster management. With the disasters of Hurricane Katrina's stature, it was important for state and local government to collaborate with the U.S military to ensure minimal damage. The emergency response system should have a way to escalate cases that need the attention of the most powerful entities in the land (Gheytanchi et al., 2007).

The main challenge that limited the efficiency of the rescue mission was the delayed and unreliable communication framework. There was no standardized way for the state to share information with federal agencies, and therefore the chain of command was broken. Lack of a centralized decision-making system is a leading cause of confusion in disaster management scenarios. Rescue teams should have a working system that facilitates peer to peer communication, and whenever need be, they should be able to report to the next level of command for further actions (Gheytanchi et al., 2007)

The criticism that followed Hurricane Katrina prompted the authorities to form a new National Response Plan comprised of at least four different command structures. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) controlled two levels of command, and the formation was meant to close gaps that were noticed during the recovery effort. Two other command structures were managed by two different military bases, which were the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and Louisiana National Guard. The two command levels were independent, and there was no central control to coordinate their operation. Having different levels of command that were independent caused a lot of duplication in both planning and execution, and therefore the challenge of poor coordination and communication was not fixed (Gheytanchi et al., 2007).

Lack of centralized coordination also challenged the rescued people's process since there was no exact way to commission health personnel on the ground. The confusion was also visible when recovering bodies and delays that happened for days could speak it all. Blame games were the norm of the day, with Louisiana's governor claiming that FEMA had delayed making a deal with a contractor. Excuses of this kind were replicated in different command levels, and the result was a messed recovery mission (Edwards, 2015).

It took days to deliver medical supplies in places that…of the adjustments that happened in different premiums. With the area termed as high risk, insurance covers hiked by 133% and 400%, respectively, and the rates were no longer favorable to investors. Reconstruction efforts were discouraged, and that why it took over a decade to restore the affected areas to the initial economic state (Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies & XL Catlin, 2018).

A weakness in the emergency response team is the main cause of miscommunication and conflicts experienced in disaster management. All government levels should be coordinated, and there should be no conflict because the end goal is to ensure the citizens of all states are safe. What is essential is streamlining the entire framework other than blaming different state agencies. Crisis in times of disaster always translates to political conflicts. It was evident in Katrina's case, where the FEMA director was required to resign (Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies & XL Catlin, 2018).

Delays in time of disaster always cause a lot of damage. Response time should be minimal, and the involved emergency teams should remain prepared for any emergency call. All this can be achieved by having a central disaster management agency that controls the command and communication. A reliable framework to help ensure a quick economic recovery should also be put in place. Delayed recovery continues to ruin the lives of disaster victims, and therefore funds set aside for…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies & XL Catlin. (2018). Disaster Recovery Case Studies, U.S. 2005 Storms: Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from

Edwards, C. (2015, August 27). Hurricane Katrina: Remembering the Federal Failures. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from

Gheytanchi, A., Joseph, L., Gierlach, E., Kimpara, S., Housley, J., Franco, Z. E., & Beutler, L. E. (2007). The dirty dozen: Twelve failures of the Hurricane Katrina response and how psychology can help. American Psychologist, 62(2), 118.

Herring, C., & Rosenman, E. (2016). Engels in the Crescent City: Revisiting the Housing Question in post-Katrina New Orleans. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 15(3), 616-638.

Howitt, A. M., & Leonard, H. B. (2006). Katrina and the core challenges of disaster response. Fletcher F. World Aff., 30, 215.

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