Tag Archives: political considerations

Lessons from Katrina (update)

We are all focusing on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as we remember Hurricane Katrina. Let me start by saying I love NOLA. I love the people and the culture. I started blogging just a couple months before Katrina. I knew that the levees had broken hours before MSN reported it because of discussion boards on the Internet.

I took this picture in 9th ward 3 years ago.

9th ward

So what are the lessons?

  • there should be no political considerations when doling out aid
  • experts are experts for a reason. They should be in charge of planning and resource management.
  • we as Americans do a bad job of planning for future problems. Money was consistently diverted from the levees into projects that would give politicians “more to run on.”
  • there is no excuse … We must get help to everyone within 48 hrs. There is no excuse.
  • this could happen again.

What are your thoughts? What lessons have you learned?

From HuffPo (written by Janet Napolitano):

We’ve also made tremendous progress since Katrina and Rita in improving our country’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from major disasters of all kinds.

An example of this progress is the recovery efforts this summer following the worst flooding in more than a century in Nashville, Tenn. These floods took the lives of more than 30 individuals, devastated communities, and threatened the safety and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of residents. Despite this historic damage, our swift and effective response demonstrated what a difference preparation, coordination between federal, state, and local governments, and the quick deployment of resources to local communities can make.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, played a key role in the government’s response. But as our FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate would be the first to say, preparing for — and responding to — disasters truly is a shared responsibility. While we continue to strengthen and streamline efforts to prepare for disasters at the federal level, citizens, families, communities, faith organizations, and businesses all have an important role to play in our collective response to emergencies.