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More than five years ago, Katrina, one of the three strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the U.S., destroyed major Gulf cities and flattened 150 miles of coastland. Katrina lasted for five hours (on August 29, 2005) and then was followed by storm-surge flooding which submerged a half-million homes. This was followed by the human tragedy of government mismanagement at the local, state and federal levels. Katrina has regularly been written about in newspapers and reported in the media since August 29, 2005.
Since the hurricane disaster five years ago a lot of accomplishments have been made by the local, state and federal government together with the various organizations and private individuals. For instance the federal financial institutions have made several accomplishments in ensuring that lesson learned from the disaster are achieved, one of the ways it has shown that commitment of learning from the effects of Katrina is by responding admirably to the unique challenges that are raised by the successive hurricane seasons especially to those with significant storms. During the disaster these organization faced challenges including: the communication outrages which made it difficulty in locating missing personnel, unavailable access of restricted areas, lack of electrical power which rendered computer system inoperable, destruction of multiple facilities, branches reaming underwater for weeks and finally long interruption of mail services.
To ensure that they curb such disasters institutions have adjusted their plans and improvised responses to successfully address occurrence of unexpected complications. In addition to that they have also adapted procedures that facilitate cashing of checks for the non customers, working together as well as advanced planning and preparation and this has made them prevail in difficult situations. This is accomplishments that before the Katrina disaster many organizations were not prepared for extensive destruction and prolonged recovery period but lessons were learnt form the aftermaths of the disaster.
Other accomplishments attained include organizing for alternate means of transport like carpools, air connections and bus services which serve to improve accessibility and means. Also efforts to identify alternate and prioritized locations for gathering incase of simultaneous disruption of communications has been consider to help in rescue efforts. In addition to that disaster drills like disaster recovery and business continuity have been regularly conducted to ensure that governmental and organizations are they are effective in responding to changing resources, money and operational needs.
The mobilization of the military forces together with other state and local police force to disaster areas serve to ensure citizens that the government shows concern for them and this is an accomplishment worth noting after the Katrina disaster. The mobilization serves to establish command and control, support and logistics hence flow of information in rescuer operations.
Finally the idea of federal government waiting for the states and local authorities to give them information on the disaster has been rendered ineffective and incase of a disaster all the forms of government respond simultaneously making rescue efforts effective and that is an accomplishment.
Some of the issues that are still not accomplished include the emergency responses which seem to be still very ineffective. This flaw was evident when the Haiti earthquake stuck and several days later the united sates aid workers were still unable to reach to the earthquake victims as they were hampered by the damaged structure yet these are the same scenario that emergency aid operations are supposed to be prepared for. The rescue operation was also marred with lack of a central command and coordination which show that preparedness for disaster has not been fully learnt from the Katrina disaster. Plans to ensure that aid reaches the needy victims of disasters has not been fully accomplished and this causes major humanitarian crisis just as it had caused during aftermath of Katrina.
The federal planning for response to crises and response system is till very reactive and too oriented on its respond to support requests from the sate as well as the local officials, in order to improve it should made to be more active ,directive and be place at a trigger pull readiness.