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Hurricane Katrina: Policy Implementation

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What was the Implementation failure: from the Federal, State, and local response to Hurricane Katrina? Are there any recommendations for alternative policies? How did Public Policy play a role in the progress made and what changes in Public Policy have occurred?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Implementation Failure: Hurricane Katrina

Natural disasters happen and some, even with preparatory warning can be devastating. All that people and government can do is maximise preparedness to manage and assume the risks of natural disasters. These include structural and social preparedness and these two are always part of the main concerns in relation to risk management of natural disasters. When Hurricane Katrina hit on 23 August 2005, it hit New Orleans with such force and the city, although leveed, easily filled up like a bath tub - much of the city, almost all low-lying was inundated by rain and high winds that flooding soon happened, trapping people in their homes making rescue difficult. Those who managed to seek shelter in government-prepared evacuation centers soon found themselves homeless as, even as the storm dissipated, New Orleans remained flooded and the life that they knew was lost to many. Herded to welfare housing hastily set up by the government, most looked forward and waited for a successful rebuilding of their city so that they can live their lives out, as before once again. meanwhile, looting went on in the abandoned and flooded parts of the city while the US Corps of engineers scrambled to fix the levees, all this happening under the glare of the media side by side with grim images from New Orleans and stories of tragedy and survival. Blame in the handling of the mishap and the red tape that prevented relief came under heavy scrutiny and FEMA's methods and the way local, state and Federal governments handled the crisis were under fire. So was there really an implementation problem? If so, what were they?

The proliferation of firsthand accounts of victims and witnesses in text (newspaper articles, published stories, etc.) and in oral accounts via the media (TV interviews as well as news coverages) and the continuing investigation of independent agencies, academic groups as well as the government itself show a story of human tragedy that depict the initial response of the government as weak and mostly ineffective. FEMA's initial response and the militarization of the relief & rescue effort created a picture of a government losing its grip on ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,440-word essay that explores and discusses the implementation failure of the Federal, State and Local government in response to the tragedy brought by Hurricane Katrina. Alternative policies are recommended; the role of public policy is discussed in disaster response and readiness; additionally, changes to previous policies post-Katrina are also included in the narrative. References are listed APA-style. A word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing.