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The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina

Lessons Learned


About this resource

Resource type:Lessons papers
Keywords:Coordination, Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction, Disasters, Government, Hurricanes, National & regional actors, National Disaster Management Authority, Organisational , Standards, System-wide performance, Urban
Countries:United States of America
Agency:US Federal Government
Author(s):Townsend, F. et al.
Date published:February 2006

Following the events of Hurricane Katrina which devasted large areas of the American Gulf Coast, this lessons learned paper reviews the build up, effects and response to the worst natural disaster in American history. This paper questions what went wrong in the humanitarian response and recovery phase of this much criticised disaster and asks 'how could we do better?'. In the words of the reports author:

'We hope that this Report marks the beginning of a truly transformational state of preparedness throughout all levels of our Nation. Hurricane Katrina will undoubtedly be regarded by history as one of the most destructive, costly, and tragic events our Nation has ever endured. Yet with collective determination, unity of effort, and effective organizational change, the true legacy of Katrina can be that of a catalyst that triggered a real and lasting improvement to our national preparedness.'

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