Defenders of the federal government feel that much was done before and after the storm to diminish damages and loss of life. The Federal Emergency Management Association did send 200 buses from out of state to assist in evacuating remaining residents. Many citizens were transported to local shelters on state buses, and shelters of last resort were opened to offer those stuck in New Orleans a place of refuge. Were preventative actions taken by the federal government enough As hurricane Katrina raged onto shore, cries for help filled the air. Two long, hard days would pass before evacuees would start being bused out of the region. What went wrong The Federal Government is ultimately responsible for the delayed efforts in aiding victims of hurricane Katrina.
There is evidence to suggest that the federal government understood the serious threat hurricane Katrina posed on the low-lying Gulf region, and that they did make some effort to convey this danger and urge people out of harm's way. On Saturday August, 27th, President Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana and encouraged people to evacuate the New Orleans area before the storm made landfall. Prior to the storm, flood and storm surge predictions were made by the National Hurricane Center in Miami. At least 200 buses were sent to aid in evacuations before the event. The federal government did express concerns over the levee system's ability to weather the storm and operate under such difficult conditions. State and local officials were encouraged to follow emergency procedures and make preparations for a worst-case scenario. And still, thousands ignored the government's pleas and remained in New Orleans during the storm. Did these residents knowingly place themselves in harm's way No, the federal government failed to get the public's attention and failed to express the power and danger of hurricane Katrina in the moments leading up to landfall on the Gulf Coast.
Following the tragic hurricane, FEMA sent 500 buses to the region to assist in evacuating remaining citizens. The Red Cross immediately deployed thousands of volunteers to help in the relief efforts. The National Guard was sent to maintain order and provide a military presence. Food and water were distributed to victims who were left homeless and stranded by the storm. Several lives were saved as military helicopters pulled victims from trees and rooftops. Boats patrolled the city tirelessly in search of life. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the federal government did much to assuage the incompetence of the Louisiana state and local government. But, was it enough The President waited two days before assessing the damage of the storm. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff waited two days before giving FEMA full authority to act. And, FEMA waited two days before sending buses to evacuate the hungry, thirsty, sick, and dying victims out of an area that has been compared to a nuclear war zone. Precious moments were lost, and unnecessary suffering resulted in these delays.
In response to criticism that the federal gover