In the entire history of the United States, the Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the deadliest among the many disasters that the US has encountered. Among the recorded hurricanes, it is ranked as the sixth in strength and effect. Thousands of people are said to have been affected by the hurricane due to the floods that were involved. Properties worth billions were destroyed, making it the deadliest. The city of New Orleans was flooded and submerged, leading to the trapping of twenty percent of its citizens in the city. Those who were trapped never had access to water, food and power.
Those in power pointed fingers at the federal government for not having executed the emergency plan as initially planned. This clearly shows that the federal government was responsible for the execution of the emergency plan. However, experts say that when such disasters strike a place, it is the responsibility of the local government and never the federal government. The New Orleans emergency plan left many people stranded. They were promised quick safety by utilizing the available resources, the safety that never became known. Instead of allocating city buses to relinquish those who could make it out on their own, those, in New Orleans, were told to go to Superdome and the Convention Center, a place, where no one provided satisfactory nourishment or refuge (Reed, 2005).
Preparedness for Hurricane Katrina
In the conferences that involved the president many concerns were expressed. These concerns were leaning towards the pushing the storm of the hurricane towards the city’s floodwalls. No one was certain about the intensity and magnitude of the Hurricane Katrina but the concerns brought favorable reactions. Nature’s unyielding power is very difficult to control. The magnitude of the hurricane was not something to excuse their unpreparedness as well as response. This hurricane was to catalyze the reforms and transformations. There was a need to understand hurricane Katrina in its immediate context (Palser, 2007).
As this hurricane slowly formed, it was thought that it would have been a slightly friendly storm. Nevertheless, as it approached the cities of Bahamas, it intensified in magnitude. The growth was increasing every hour, and it, later, became a category three storm in just nine hours. This growth was due to the movement of the storm in unusually warm waters of different currents that intensified the speeds of the storm. As the growth took different strengths, the United States Coast Guard began placing rings along the zone that was thought to be impacted. Aircrews were returning towards the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the aircrews lost their homes during the hurricane, but rescue efforts in New Orleans and Mississippi coastlines were launched (Palser, 2007).
The state of Mississippi activated its guard (The National Guard) on August 26 in grounding for the storm. This followed the activation of the Emergency Operations Center by the government the following day. Mass departure orders began circulating in cities as well as countries. Emergency shelters were established on various coastal communities, to cater for the probable need. This was done in an effort to increase the chances of minimizing the effect of the storm. In New Orleans, mayor, Ray Nagin, gave an order of mandatory evacuation of the city because the storm had been upgraded to a Category 5 storm. This was the first-ever mandatory evacuation in New Orleans. Several refuges were created by the government for those who could not leave the city (Writer, 2005).
Training and exercises
Prior to the occurrence of Hurricane Katrina, there was no significant training conducted. This was due to the haste as well as the emergency that made everyone extremely cautious. Exercises were involved, and they directed the masses on the ways of escape. Training was done later, after the storm had damaged all the property. Most citizens did not appreciate the training because it was inappropriate. The large number of population was not particularly sure about the emergency plans, and that is why many of them were locked in places they could not access necessities. The local governments, however, informed them just before the hurricane hit the towns (Treaster, 2005).
Emergency Planning Lessons, Learned from Katrina
Preparation for emergency begins with an organized local government. Response to any natural disaster is highly vital in rescuing and saving the lives of many citizens in a country. Negligence is responsible for the effects of the Hurricane Katrina. After all the transformations that occurred in New Orleans after the storm, the government should have learnt from the experiences of the victims in New Orleans (Treaster, 2005).
An emergency plan should have primary objectives that directly relate to the citizens of the country involved. An emergency plan should provide safety and security; it should assist in minimizing and extenuating property harm and provide a way out from the restoration of the already damaged property. In the case of a massive continent, there are strategies that are able to cover all states. The Federal government has now defined and implemented an all-inclusive National Preparedness System; and cultivated a new, full-bodied society of watchfulness (Writer, 2005).