Essay Example on Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States

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Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States In the days to follow the states of Louisiana and Mississippi would experience destruction on an unimaginable scale Within the first days following the category 3 hurricane s landfall the Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco realized that the state of Louisiana was not equipped to handle the present domestic emergency that it was facing Governor Blanco attempted to request assistance from President George Bush but was unaware of the proper request protocol Due to multiple issues between the U S Government the State Government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA the state of Louisiana did not receive assistance until many days after the request The command relationships suffered between President George W Bush Governor Kathleen Blanco and the Director of FEMA Michael D Brown Command relationship is defined as the interrelated responsibilities between commanders as well as the operational authority exercised by commanders in the chain of command also defined as command authority operational control tactical control or support Military IQ 2018 A breakdown in communication between the U S Government State Government and FEMA during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina engendered ineffective command relationships resulting in delays in federal military support The Role of the President and Congress 



The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was enacted in an effort to reaffirm the deeply held American principle that civilian and military spheres should be kept distinctly separate Tkacz 2006 This act passed by Congress and revised in 1891 to expand to cover the command relationship between federal military and local law enforcement was the main reason that President Gorge W Bush hesitated when the initial request from Governor Blanco came across his desk In an attempt to revive the command relationship staff advised President Bush not to take over the situation in New Orleans His administration feared that sending active duty troops into New Orleans would undermine Governor Blanco s position as a member of the opposing party and a woman To circumvent the effects of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 on the required forces National Guard soldiers inserted into Active Component units allowed the government to plus up the number of troops After the communication issues between the different organizations were resolved Task Force Katrina located at Camp Shelby Mississippi became the Active component s area of operation command An estimated 22 000 active duty Soldiers deployed to Louisiana for assistance along with another estimated 27 000 National Guard troops State Government The main issue that needed improvement in the relationship between Governor Kathleen Blanco and President George W Bush was communication In the first days after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina Governor 



Blanco requested everything you ve got Tkacz 2006 in regards to assistance Facing the facts that her state was without the essentials needed to survive and the body count would reach an estimated 1 600 she faced the fear that the federal government was not coming to the aid of Louisiana In an attempt to provide shelter to the individuals displaced by the storm the city of New Orleans opened the Superdome With an estimated 15 000 people housed in the Superdome and the amount of local law enforcement depleted the shelter became a criminal haven Significant breakdowns in communication and confused emergency and law enforcement responses from local state and federal officials in the hours and days after Hurricane Katrina led to chaos and panic in the affected areas endangering citizens property and lives Tkacz 2006 Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina made landfall assistance finally arrived in the form of Active Duty troops National Guard troops and non military organizations as well Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA Michael D Brown the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA accused Governor Blanco of being uncoordinated in her efforts to get help for the state of Louisiana With an estimated 300 000 people without power and 40 000 homes flooded the state and local authorities were overwhelmed The National Response Plan dictates the responsibilities of organizations involved during a domestic emergency When the scale of a domestic emergency exceeds the capabilities of the state and local organizations FEMA will mobilize assets for assistance 



With the conflicts between the federal government and the state government attempts to assist search and rescue efforts fell on FEMA For this assistance to happen there are steps that have to be covered and this is what caused the delay during the days following the landfall of Hurricane Katrina The first step to the process was Governor Blanco declaring a disaster or emergency declaration that provided the President of the United States with the appeal he needed to move forward with federal assistance Conclusion A breakdown in communication between the U S Government State Government and FEMA during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina engendered ineffective command relationships resulting in delays in federal military support With the lack of communication and the lack of knowledge when it came to protocols the rescue efforts in New Orleans Louisiana was delayed and that delay proved detrimental Command relationships are essential to make organizations work and to make multiple organizations work together The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 details the way to handle Domestic emergencies Governor Blanco did all she knew how to do in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Yet if the relationships between all of the major support would have communicated better the lasting effects on the city of New Orleans may have been minimal

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