Hurricane Katrina demonstrated that the United States was unprepared to deal with a disaster of such magnitude. Even though, as indicated in the senate report, “Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared,” the government knew for many years that a devastating hurricane was quite likely to strike New Orleans. Planning was insufficient, and no solid strategy existed for response. Lack of strategy delayed response when time was of the essence and a lack of leadership and unsuccessful coordination efforts contributed to additional destruction and distress.
Multiple serious mistakes were made during first-response efforts and the recovery stage after Hurricane Katrina, which ultimately contributed to the development of new standards, procedures, and agencies. Lessons learned from this catastrophe had a significant impact on preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts at every level of government.
Your task is to read these sections of the report and prepare a presentation for the mayor of New Orleans, demonstrating the major deficiencies in the area of preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Based on the report, your analysis of Louisiana’s emergency plan, and any additional research, make recommendations in a PowerPoint presentation (15-20 slides) for what New Orleans needs to do to make sure it is as prepared as possible for potential threats.
Be sure to address the following in your PowerPoint presentation:
Identify the major deficiencies in preparedness and mitigation planning that left the Gulf Coast vulnerable to a major disaster. Address how lack of effective risk assessment and hazard analysis played a role in worsening the devastation.
Identify problems with communication and operations that worsened the impact of the storm during the response phase. Explain how the Incident Command System (ICS) functions in New Orleans and its effectiveness.
Identify major problems with both short- and long-term recovery in the aftermath of the storm.
Identify the most important lessons New Orleans should have learned from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and continued hurricane disasters (i.e., Harvey, Irma, and Maria).
Recommend what New Orleans should do to address its major weakness in the areas of preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery in order to ensure it is as prepared as possible. Include recommendations for the role training and exercises should play in ensuring preparedness. Be sure to identify the roles of first responders during the response phase and recovery phase of emergency management.
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