Hurricane Katrina

The U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) was established Oct. 1, 2002, to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. When Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, the U.S. government went into action to provide food, shelter, and security for the affected areas, with varying degrees of success. Given the magnitude of the disaster, the government relied on private companies to provide many emergency services.

For an event such as Hurricane Katrina, what capabilities did U.S. military forces bring? What did they not bring that, in retrospect, they should have reasonably been expected to provide?

Should private security companies be hired by the U.S. government to provide assistance in the event of a major natural disaster, as was the case following Hurricane Katrina?


Required Reading

Disaster response: Staff officer’s handbook, observations, insights, and lessons. (2007). GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved from https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/call/call_11-07.htm Read Ch. 4: “Department of Defense Role in Incident Response.”

House of Representatives Report 109-377 (2005). A failure of the initiative: Final report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to investigate the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina report. Retrieved from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CRPT-109hrpt377/pdf/CRPT-109hrpt377.pdf
Read pages 1 – 5.

Kiner, D. (2020, August 28). ‘Total disaster zone’: The 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In pennlive. Retrieved from https://www.pennlive.com/life/2020/08/total-disaster-zone-the-15th-anniversary-of-hurricane-katrina.html

Kyne, D., Lomeli, A. S., Donner, W., & Zuloaga, E. (2018). Who will stay, who will leave: Decision-making of residents living in potential hurricane impact areas during a hypothetical hurricane event in the Rio Grande valley. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 15(2). Available in the Trident Online Library.

National Incident Management System (NIMS): http://www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system

The federal response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons learned (2006). The White House. Retrieved from http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/reports/katrina-lessons-learned/

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

Required Websites

Department of Homeland Security: Disasters https://www.dhs.gov/topic/disasters

Disaster Information Management Research Center: https://disaster.nlm.nih.gov/

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): http://www.fema.gov

Homeland Security News Wire: http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/

National Incident Management System (NIMS): http://www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system

USCG Earthquake Hazards Program: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

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