Free Essay: Hurricane Katrina
Overview of Hurricane Katrina
The geographical composition of the earth brings forth some phenomena that can cause disasters to the lives of humans and also property, including wild and domestic animals. There are some happenings that are beyond the control or understanding of man, and it is not easy for people to come up with strategies for the mitigation of the negative impacts of these occurrences (Hurricane Katrina 132). A report released by the United Nations (2006) reveals that the earth is in a continuous state of adjustment and modification that results into several observable phenomena like the case of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The demand for protection by humans intensifies with the increase in several health concerns (Levitt, Jeremy, and Mathew 121). Therefore, it is of great importance that the government, with the help of other stakeholders needs to take the necessary action of easing the situation or evacuating people from areas affected by such occurrences. A variety of the factors that impact the growth of humans are mainly environmental including even the case of Hurricane Katrina.
As outlined in some reliable sources, Hurricane Katrina appears to be among the largest even experienced hurricanes in the American and entire world history. It was ranked as the third largest, strongest and most disastrous in a list of five hurricanes with an estimated wind speed of 175 miles per hour. The hurricane is characterized by a highly destructive wave front with a height of 20 feet, equal to six meters from the bottom of the sea. According to a report released by the US Embassy, 705 people went missing while more than 15 million were evacuated from various parts and sectors of growth (Hurricane Katrina 139).
Based on the information released by Presidential press concerning the incident, a total of 1836 people lost their lives with the highest numbers registered in Louisiana and Mississippi where 1577 and 238 lives were lost. It is still mysterious to the US and world population, the nature, rate and frequency with which the hurricane Katrina took place. Considering that the waves moved at a very high speed and were able to cover an estimated 80% of New Orleans up to 20 feet deep is a confirmation that people and animals could not be spared.
It is estimated that property worth $18 billion was lost in both Louisiana and Mississippi. Owing to the factors on the ground, America and other stakeholders across the globe threw in their support to the families who lost their relatives and property during the incident. This showed the unity that has existed between the government and the people since the political history of America.
The responses of the media and the American administration regarding the hurricane Katrina are recommendable. The involvement of the government and social media during the calamity highlights on the fact that the welfare of the society is more important than other issues and must be accorded the greatest concern.
Based on the history of the hurricane Katrina, this paper examines the role played by the administration and media to the public during hazardous situations. In support of this investigation, it is also important to understand the roles that different government agencies and NGOs play in disaster preparedness.
The Role Played by the Media during Hurricane Katrina
The social media in the US is an independent body that operates on its own discretion through the provision of aids in the form of foodstuffs, protection, and relocation of population in times of crises. When the hurricane Katrina swept parts of America, the most crucial roles played by the media included the creation of awareness to the public, assisting the victims out of affected areas, providing food relief to the displaced and also financial assistance to those who had places to relocate to. The fast response by the media in times like these is inclined to eh fact that the press forms part of the social component of the existence of human beings. Due to human’s nature of keeping up to date with information that impacts the society, the media finds it important to be involved in even some of the highly dangerous situations (Hurricane Katrina).
As outlined in the case of hurricane Katrina, the social media painted a picture of willingness through disseminating the most important information to the public so as to understand the reasons for the government’s move in giving certain directives. During the crisis, the media became a reliable partner that responded by answering some questions that disturbed Americans and the world at large (Veenema & Tener 79). Besides, the media also offered an interrogative platform for the representatives of the United States’ government to air their views on the issue of the hurricane in a way that would enhance the creation of willingness to help in saving the lives of the people.
A lot of significance was attached to the impacts of the hurricane Katrina by the media, and they never hesitated to offer the necessary assistance. Since the media was the only window through which the world could see the trouble that America was experiencing, it was very prompt in laying out information to the rest of the world that indeed, the population of the United States was in danger and required the most appropriate help at that moment. Most of the assistance that the US government received from the United Nations and other parts of the world were wired in through the national media.
The rate at which information was received by different nations and the response from various people clearly indicated that the media makes the world an open place, where information cannot be hidden, especially if it impacts the lives of others (Charlton & Kym 309). Besides, it became important for the government to work together with the media by giving them information about hurricane prospects. This enabled the American society to prepare and be ready to handle the situations as they would present themselves.
Apart from the fact that the media connected America to the outside world during the hurricane Katrina, they also kept the government on high alert by making sure that every step pursued by the government in the evacuation of the affected people was closely monitored by various stakeholders. This process of ensuring that government operations are done in a transparent manner in the events of calamities ensures that the good measures and strategies applied by the government are fully implemented without hitches.
In some cases, the actions that the media take in the creation of an environment that upholds respect for human dignity is curtailed by the actions of the government. There are some governments that have acted through limiting media freedom in response to matters affecting the society without recognizing that the same media exposes the world in times that prompt government involvements are required (Veenema & Tener 85). It is highly proficient to understand the effect that would be created by the government on the society if such freedom of involvement is completely cut off or hindered.
The Role Played by the US Government during Hurricane Katrina
Just like an organ that operates on its own, the government plays very critical roles in ensuring that its people are secure. The fact that it represents the interests of the people within a given country makes it liable to all the dangers that may be experienced in society. Therefore, the government should make sure that her citizens are not exposed to danger presented by environmental changes. Based on the emergence of climatic changes and negative human participation in the preservation of the environment, the government is providing the highly required training to the public on how to protect and conserve the environment. The government offers a formal counteractive training process that is aimed at cutting down the chances of environmental occurrences (Miskel and James 209). In the way, the government acted swiftly during the time of the hurricane Katrina by informing the global societies and population before it occurred.
Before the hurricane Katrina, it is thought that most Americans had moved out of the region, thereby making it easier for the government to conduct rescue operations through the disaster management department. It became a common practice for the government to make preparations through the congress and set aside some funds for tackling any cases of emergency that would be caused by the disaster. At the time when it took place, the American government had set aside billions of dollars for evacuation, resettlement and re-establishment of the displaced population (Miskel and James 211). This helped the administration in controlling mass migration of people into other countries as a result of the calamity. The American government indeed, has a close tie with its people, and it is worth recommending the response offered by the state officials.
To some extent, it turns out to be common that the government may not have sufficient funds required for getting people out of trouble in times when disasters strike. Lack of finances hinders government operations as it is in many developing nations (Charlton & Kym 315). The blame game that is evident in politics is a forced aimed at bringing on board some of the important cases that the government in operation should consider when making its budget. Some of the concerns are that the administration should always set aside funds to cater for disaster management as they take place. The government essentially acts on behalf of the people and any incident that affects them has a direct impact on the government.
Based on the above discussions, it is important to understand that the role played by the government and the media in times of such disasters like the hurricane Katrina is aimed at the good of the society. Sometimes, the government may decide to work together with the media in offering the most appropriate support during emergencies (Charlton & Kym 322). This would mean that the administration is investing heavily on social media so as to facilitate the liberation of the citizens from some of the calamities.
As seen in most cases, the media goes as far as putting the lives of her employees in danger in order to offer the necessary services in times of difficulties. It can be well phrased that the media plays a critical role just like the government in enhancing social compatibility and cohesion, a step that other organizations may not have the opportunity to take. Hurricane Katrina’s case is just among the several cases whereby the media risks the lives of its employees, in order to provide protection and information about the prevailing plans of help (Charlton & Kym 319). Ever since the hurricane Katrina occurred, the American government has been quite vocal in the advocacy for the freedom of social media.
Several governments across the globe have today realized that when the media are accorded freedom in their operations, it would play very important roles not only in the provision of relevant information about hazardous occurrences but also creation of social awareness and integration. Thus, understanding the roles of administration and the function of the media in times of disaster is of great importance since it ensures social growth through the differentiation of the part to be played by each party.
Charlton, Kym. Disaster Management and Social Media: A Case Study. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Police Service, 2011. Print.
Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared. Washington (D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006. Print.
Miskel, James. Disaster Response and Homeland Security: What Works, What Doesn’t. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Security Studies, 2008. Print.
Veenema, Tener G. Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Terrorism and Other Hazards. New York: Springer Pub. Co, 2013. Print.