Leadership in Crisis Management: Hurricane Katrina Case Analysis

Leadership in Crisis Management: Hurricane Katrina Case Analysis

Hurricane Katrina remains as one of the most immense humanitarian crisis that there has been in America for many years and the ramifications are very visible even to the ordinary persons that question the response that leaders gave to this horrendous event.  In the morning of August 29, 2005, the scathing storm landed on the gulf coast with such a big impact, destroying almost everything on its path (A&E Television Networks, 2014). In the landfall it had a category three rating (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale), bringing winds of 100 to 140 miles per hour that stretched an area of four hundred miles across. The aftermath was characteristically defined by high property destruction and many individuals charged on the federal Government’s slow reaction in meeting the needs of citizens affected by the ranging storm. The storm has been described by many reports as an extraordinary act of nature responsible for an unprecedented human tragedy whose high destructivity remains in the annals of American disaster history as a mammoth case study on emergency forecast, preparation and response chronology.

The leaders took insufficient and miniature actions or made poor decisions in the days long before the landfall brought about by the surging Katrina storms which accosted the obliteration of property. For example in New Orleans, although half the city lies above the sea level its average elevation is approximately 6 feet below the sea level which is completely surrounded by water (A&E Television Networks, 2014). In the 20th Century the Army Corps of Engineers had built a system of levees and sea walls to protect the city from floods. However, leaders had before the storm been more worried about those levees that had been jerry-built on top of sandy, porous, erodible soil to keep back Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne and the waterlogged swamps, since the likelihood of withstanding the immense storm surge was close to negative.


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