Lessons Learned from Katrina and Rita

Gregg Ramirez

Gregg offers a unique perspective on the emergency response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He was attending a conference in New Orleans when the order to evacuate was given. He was evacuated just ahead of the storm only to return home and find his Guard unit had been called to duty to assist with the recovery effort. Besides a discussion of the rescue efforts and activities, this presentation will examine the party atmosphere that preceded the storms and the despair of the survivors who experienced Katrina’s wrath first hand. Hurricane Katrina prompted an extraordinary national response, the likes of which had never been seen on American soil. Despite the heroic efforts of so many, the response fell far short of being adequate. Hurricane Katrina obligates us to re-examine how we are organized and resourced to address the full range of catastrophic events—both natural and man-made. The storm and its aftermath provide us with the mandate to design and build such a system.
The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina – Lessons Learned February 2006

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