Government Response To Hurricane Katrina

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The Government Response to Hurricane Katrina: A Federalism Case Study Hurricane Katrina exposed the failure in all levels of government, nonprofit, and private sector to appropriately respond to a large-scale disaster. These failures can be attributed largely to the American institution of federalism. Federalism is a system wherein it is inherently difficult to respond to a major catastrophe, because it promotes local and state response to small disasters, to the exclusion of the federal government. This causes state and local governments to be less likely to ask the federal government to intervene when needed in an emergency. Lack of communication between federal, state, and local government caused failure in an effective unified emergency…show more content…
Disaster response of the federal government is only when local or state resources are insufficient. In the case of Hurricane Katrina, local authorities, such as the mayor of New Orleans, were hesitant to forfeit their control to a higher level of government. Ray Nagin didn’t order an evacuation of New Orleans until less than 24 hours before Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. Nearby parishes had evacuated days before New Orleans was ordered to. The lack of cooperation added to the emergency response failure that occurred. A report on the federal government's ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina stated that, "earlier presidential involvement could have speeded the response,” implying that President Bush should have stepped in to help earlier in such an extreme disaster. The inadequate government response to Hurricane Katrina was caused by a combination of organizational flaws, lack of preparedness, and failed communication among entities. While each level of government was partly responsible for the mishandling of the tragedy, there is evidence to suggest that top level administrators are responsible for major failures in the response to Hurricane…show more content…
Brown, now in control of the Federal Emergency Management Company, denied busses requested by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco for evacuation, saying that busses were going to arrive later for evacuation. The busses arrived days later in small numbers, causing tens of thousands of people to be stranded in the hurricane. Brown was largely at fault for the failed response the federal government to Hurricane Katrina when FEMA and the commanding general of the military established two conflicting systems of command. One of the most successful rescue efforts was carried out by those who ignored the delayed process of FEMA’s bureaucracy and acted immediately. The Coast Guard started used helicopters to rescue people from New Orleans without waiting for the approval of the federal government- a choice that ended up saving more than 75,000 people, or nearly half of the population of New

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