Hurricane Katrina Reaction Paper – Political Science
Hurricane Katrina was without a doubt the most devastating national disaster the United States has experienced since 9/11. The lost of life and the
destruction of a majority of the infrastructure of southern Louisiana, including Louisiana’s largest city New Orleans put the entire state into an economic panic. The economy has gone stagnant, especially since tourism creates a great deal of revenue in the state, particularly in New Orleans.
A large portion of those people who were unfortunate enough to have lived in Katrina’s path became homeless. New Orleans also has one of the highest poverty rates in all of the United States; several people who either didn’t have private transportation or couldn’t access public transportation were stranded. After the hurricane all the stagnant water that remained was a breeding ground for disease. Those people that were left behind were susceptible to illness, and there was little chance they would be able to receive healthcare needed.
The Bush administration and the different levels of government in the state of Louisiana have faced a great deal of criticism following that of the hurricane. News of the Hurricane had come weeks prior to it actually hitting Louisiana, but no evacuation plans of any kind were even mentioned until days/hours, before Katrina hit. Emergency assistance was simply too late. Not only were evacuation efforts poor at best, the Bush Administration had supposedly been diverting funds from hurricane protection efforts to the war effort in Iraq, most notably those to the Army Corps of Engineers. There last minute efforts to reinforce the levees in Louisiana, but they could almost be considered a waste of time. They collapsed and didn’t do the least bit of good.
The question I have is that if Louisiana had properly prepared for this Hurricane could all of this destruction and loss of life been avoided? I personally think it could have. What is most alarming to me is that there were failures at several levels; nothing seemed to have gone right. Those people who were in the path of Katrina should have been properly evacuated weeks before the storm hit.
Proper precautions should have been taken reinforcing the levee; if the levee had not failed the damage done would have been much less devastating. Hopefully Katrina will serve as an example for future generations, or even those people currently holding political office in the United States. The next time a disaster of this magnitude is threatening the country action should be taken without hesitation.