August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. A plan of action was created only hours ahead of time. One can say the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina and the poor execution is a lesson learned for all officials who are the head of Natural Disaster Preparedness. Unfortunately 1200 lives were lost and the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States in over 75 years. With the state of Louisiana already lying below sea level and being warned by experts for years, hurricane Katrina is a vas lesson that came with a deadly price.
After reading through the Katrina Breakdown it is clear that Mayor C. Ray Nagin was the most persuasive. Mayor Nagin seemed to have the most heart but unfortunately the lease of power to execute out an emergency disaster properness plan. Mayor Nagin ordered police around 7pm to stop rescue efforts of victims and have rescue officials focus more towards the looting that was occurring. Martial Law was declared. Governor Kathleen Blanco seemed less worried and did not feel the catastrophe was as severe.
Governor Blanco phoned the President that evacuation of Louisiana and the order of National Guard was not necessary (Starling, 2010). With massive flooding within less than two hours of the storm hitting and causing water levels in many areas of the city to rise 10 to 15 and the hurricane at this point classified as a Category 4 it would only be smart to evacuate your people. To save the Governor’s town all she had to do was sign a fax sent from President Bush which would give the federal government control of the rescue and bottom line more organized and prepared.
Instead Governor Blanco refused to sign not wanting the government to take control of her city. A sense of too many chiefs not enough Indians seem to come to mind. Not until Thursday September 1, 2005 did Governor Blanco feel it was wise to ask for help. Not even having detailed specific amounts of personnel and supplies just a number she pulled out of her head, (40,000 troops). Governor Blanco said, “We Need Everything You’ve Got” (Starling, 2010, p. 153). Governor Blanco who had the power to ask earlier when Mayor Nagin was requesting failed and also failed her city.
During a National catastrophe and short amount of time for properness the federal government should take control regardless of the situation and work with local officials who would know the area better. When a city declares state of emergency is should be mandatory that the federal government can now have more power to execute a plan and available funds to provide. Local city officials should see the federal government not as a threat or as if they cannot handle the situation but more of an extra relief. Seeing hurricane Katrina was the biggest hurricane since 1975 everyday planning for this big of a natural disaster is not expected.
In the past ten years it seems more and more natural disasters are taking the lives of thousand and costing states to fall. With proper technology giving local state officials a better outlook on time and planning is the first step in saving their communities. Executing and working with federal government showing them their local plan can give the federal government a better perspective on the scenario as well. By working together and having boundaries set will only save not only time but lives who are suffering from the nightmare.
Federal Government and Local State Governments should never look at emergency situations as a power trip but more of how can we save lives and learn from future catastrophes. Hurricane Katrina was one of the costliest natural disasters in U. S. history (Starling, 2010). Unfortunately thousands of lives were lost in order for our nation to learn and plan for future disasters. Working together as a nation sounds easier said than done but having a proper planning that both sides can see eye to eye on will not only save lives but keep a nation together during the worse part of times.