Personally, the question seems to be a simple matter to most people but it made me think that it should be seriously answered in accordance with the facts gathered.
There are many things or lessons should be learned from hurricane Katrina, in general, the entire Nations should prepare for a most tragic event that will happen anytime and anywhere. On the part of the government, I would say that it is one of the most degrading episodes of its services. Before the tragic event, the government was responsible to the guide, especially, the local administrations for them to act promptly in the evacuation process of the most vulnerable populations in the area to bring them to the safer areas. After the tragic event, most of the responsible authorities were weighed down by all the resulting disorder and commotion; the government’s efforts were insufficient of providing assistance to those who were directly affected or distressed. The lesson learned is for the government agencies to be aware of the areas of insufficiency in order for the disaster management will execute better in the future events.
Specifically, the main lesson should be learned from hurricane Katrina is the response period. It is comprehensible that due to losing of transportation or communication after the hurricane, there are difficulties to respond immediately. In the future, they should act and provide resources in more proactive ways. They need to deploy the resources as a preparation even it will result to some needless matters than waste the significant time hanging due to delayed transportation. Another important issue is the food safety and protection; everything was overlooked because most of the government’s attention was preoccupied to other significant activities. For instance, the hurricane destroyed 170 drinking water facilities and wastewater treatment facilities . Consequently, most of the evacuees experienced pollution of the drinking water sources that caused illnesses or health and sanitary problems at the evacuation centers. In this connection, the lesson should be learned is that the food safety and protection should be the priority.
Moreover, the environmental health staff should distinguish that the resources (local supports) are relevant in the effective response. There is a need for an improvement of the emergency and calamity preparation as the weakest part of the assistance provided. The state governments, especially in the hurricane-prone areas, should have a full-bodied and all-inclusive emergency response strategy unit. It is imperative that the authority should calculate properly the emergency preparedness during the natural disaster. Generally, everyone should be ready for the wide-ranging destruction and extended recovery period resulting from the tragic event and to be realistic, the disaster drills should be included in all critical functions and areas. All agencies should anticipate disruptions in the communications services in a prolonged period and there are delays of the critical staffs to reach the assigned recovery locations and the replacement supplies are difficult to obtain. Everyone is significant to the recovery of operations and the participation of the local state, federal, and private volunteer programs to help the victims to recover from the tragic event caused by the hurricane or other calamities in the future.
Townsend, Frances Fragos. The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned.
United States: Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, 2006.