Planning Efforts to Reduce Future Disaster Impacts

Planning Efforts to Reduce Future Disaster Impacts

This paper looks at options for programs to be put in place before to a disaster to avoid major and often poorly-managed expenditures after a catastrophe and to offer suitable protection against the risk of those large losses which do occur. It is important for the government to provide programs that enlightens the citizens on how to deal with the hazards that come with hurricanes. Natural hazards have taken place in America and they have not been well attended to. The response in the Haiti earthquake showed some weakness in response. Hurricane Katrina should have given Americans a lesson on how to prevent major destructions in case of a similar scenario.


Katrina was a hurricane that hit the Atlantic in 2005 and was known to be the most dangerous hurricane in history of America. Over 1,836 people died as a result of this hurricane with a total damage being estimated to be over $81 billion. This was as a result of the damage that was caused by the floods. This hurricane formed at the Bahamas where it caused deaths before heading to the Gulf of Mexico by 23rd, August 2005. By 29th August, it had struck Louisiana and caused several damages along the Texas from Florida. Places like Mississippi had their coastal regions all submerged in water effect (Shaughness, White & Brendler, 2010)’.

The effects of Katrina were the highest in the Bush regime. The figures were estimated at over 105 billion for reconstructions. This figure hardly includes the destroyed supplies of oils which highly affected the economy (Mackenzie & Levendis, 2010). The exports sector were highly affected too contributing on the economic destruction factor. Jobs sector was hard hit, and research shows that over 50 billion was the total economic impact in Louisiana and Mississippi, since everyone was left without jobs in these areas (Mackenzie & Levendis, 2010). No taxes were being collected since no checks were cashed. It is unfortunate that the government allowed reconstruction workers to be paid lower wages which made the place remain poorer than before.

The region had many organizations that came up to assist after the disaster. They included heart of America’s Books which was an organization that came in to help those children who had their lives shattered by Katrina in order for them to get back to school. There is AARP which is also a program for those who are over fifty years, and were in the Katrina disaster. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) also came in to help in supply of clean water, health services, and basic educations. Air Compassion America offered transportation for the ailing ones after the disaster.

The Red Cross is known to be the number one disaster aid. There were also Faith-Based organizations like office of the United Jewish Community, which volunteered to work with the government in Katrina disaster. Some of the schools helped in raising funds for children and families who were affected by Katrina. An example of such a school is Gloria Dei Lutheran Bible School (Mackenzie & Levendis, 2010). These are just but a few examples since the disaster was taken care of by different groups that were willing to save the region. After such a disaster, it was important for the government to not only find how they could build a healthier nation, but also protect themselves from such a disaster in the future (Shaughness, White & Brendler, 2010).

Different areas had to be covered in order to prevent a future hurricane disaster. Environmental Protection Program (EPA) had to ensure that preparedness, and response to a disaster was looked into. First method would be by identifying the geographic environments that were likely to be hit by these hurricanes. The EPA would ensure that the transport or infrastructure in these areas was upgraded. This would include the government communication. The areas should be accessible and the new programs to curb disaster would be available to all. It would be hard to amend the past mistakes, but awareness can be a remedy to protecting future catastrophes (Mackenzie & Levendis, 2010).

Assessments of these catastrophes have a big impact on the community as a whole. A disaster like Katrina had a big impact on the consumer behavior and also the supply chain. This shows that the markets were largely affected, and with awareness, this would be curbed. The government will be prepared to meet the losses that come with hurricanes like Katrina with the awareness programs. New Orleans had been built on a marsh. This means it is below sea level, which is a dangerous location. Its geographic location influenced the effects of Katrina because of the Mississippi river and Lake Borgne (LaJoie, Ginny, Paul, 2010). Levees had been built to cater for the occasional floods, but they failed with the hurricane.

The government had to build better barriers after this disaster. These assessments warn the governments of many being left homeless, and this ensures there are relocation homes available in case they are needed. The preparedness involves availing evacuation facilities needed. Some assessments like the one done on Hurricane Pam in 2002 showed that transportation would be a major problem. This made the federal government put a high level attention into the infrastructure With the Katrina assessment, the mayor ordered a compulsory evacuation, and it was successful though too few (Mackenzie & Levendis, 2010).

Hazard analysis should be enhanced because unfortunately, the most affected people are the vulnerable, low income class. They are not able to live in the disaster free zones due to their low income. The hazards should be communicated to the people to create awareness. The worst is the health hazards that come with the stagnant waters. There are also exposed rocks that have dangerous, chemicals which affect their health. The air gets polluted, and it is hazardous to the people in these regions. Other hazards like being left homeless should be addressed to enable adherence to orders when they are forced to evacuate. Economic hazards should also be stressed on so that the government can set aside enough funds to cater for the affected people.

The community should be broadly involved since they are the victims. It is important for them to give their opinions. This way the government will gather enough information on the areas to be looked into. Education on disaster management should be well delivered to everyone especially those in the risky zones. The community is the governments eyes and hence the need to involve them in decision making (Shaughness, White & Brendler, 2010).

Hurricane Katrina affected the areas that were below sea-level. It proved that the government had not taken enough protection on the area, and that levees that had been built by the American corps were not able to stop the destruction. In the economic factor, the government would need to improve on the awareness and improvement. This is because Katrina proved that the Bush government was not ready and could not cater fast enough for the affected people. The government’s political system does not seem to be ready even after Katrina because Haiti has proved it. The earthquake in Haiti had a poor response showing the government is still not able to respond to natural disasters promptly. However, there has been a case like the Tsunami where the American government was quick to respond, and had a positive effect (Shaughness, White & Brendler, 2010).


Katrina having been the worst in History was a wakeup call to America’s government. Some areas especially at the coastal regions have proved unfit for habitation. It is unfortunate that the lower class of the people live in these regions. The government should extend risk awareness to the people in case such a disaster was to reoccur. It should also be able to cope with the situation ensuring fewer damages.


Mancuso, Louis C.; Alijani, Ghasem S.; Kwun, Obyung. (2011). The effects of the BP oil spill and hurricane Katrina in South Louisiana. Entrepreneurial Executive,

Mckenzie, Russell; Levendis, John; (2010). Flood Hazards and Urban Housing Markets: The effects of Katrina on New Orleans. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, pp. 62-76.

LaJoie, Andrew Scott; Sprang, Ginny; McKinney, William Paul.(2010). Long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina on psychological well being of evacuees. Disasters, p1031-1044, 14p,

Shaughnessy, Timothy M.; White, Mary L.; Brendler, Michael D.; (2010). The Income Distribution effect of Natural Disasters: An Analysis of Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, pp. 84-95

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