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Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina - Essay Example

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What lessons should be learned from the government’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina? Hurricane Katrina will be remembered as one of the most embarrassing episodes of governance failure. This failure is palpable in both the lead-up as well as the aftermath of the event…
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Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina
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Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina

The least government agencies can do now is to recognize areas of deficiency so that disaster management efforts in the future are better executed. The following passages will outline some of the key lessons the government can learn from Hurricane Katrina fiasco. One of the key failures is the response time taken by local authorities in getting personnel and other resources to vulnerable locations. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, authorities waited too long before taking a decisive action. In the future they have to move resources in a proactive fashion. It would be rather prudent to deploy resources in anticipation, even if they turn out to be unnecessary in retrospect, rather than waste precious time in red-tape and transportation. (The Washington Times, 2007, p.A03) As Katrina unfolded, vital issues such as food safety and protection of public water supplies were overlooked, as attention was diverted to more important activities. This resulted in pollution of drinking water sources to go with worser health and sanitation issues at shelters for evacuees. Also, the shelters were over-crowded due to a high volunteer turnover rate and un-anticipated inflow of victims. Streamlined distribution of volunteers to different shelters has to be improved. Valuable lessons can be learnt from defects in current practices: “Local contacts who were not part of the official response were found to be important resources. ... Read More
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