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Disaster Preparedness

November 18, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 41
Is the U.S. ready for another major disaster?
By Pamela M. Prah

Introduction

A helicopter rescues New Orleans residents on Sept. 1 — three days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A helicopter rescues New Orleans residents on Sept. 1 — three days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The flawed response to Hurricane Katrina by local, state and federal officials has experts worried that the nation is unprepared for another major disaster. Nearly every emergency-response system broke down in the days immediately following the monster storm — the costliest disaster in American history. Some disaster experts say the government's preoccupation with terrorism — including the deployment of thousands of National Guard and Reserve troops in Iraq — has jeopardized domestic emergency-response capabilities. President Bush proposes putting active-duty troops in charge when states and local communities are overwhelmed by a disaster — whether manmade or natural — but many state officials don't want to give up control. Both Congress and the White House are investigating post-Katrina emergency operations to avoid similar mistakes next time. Meanwhile, disaster officials say Katrina showed the need for individual citizens to be prepared to serve as first-responders for their own families.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Disasters and Preparedness
Aug. 02, 2013  Preparing for Disaster
Jun. 25, 2010  Offshore Drilling
Feb. 03, 2006  Rebuilding New Orleans
Nov. 18, 2005  Disaster PreparednessUpdated
Dec. 16, 1994  Earthquake Research
Oct. 15, 1993  Disaster Response
Jul. 15, 1988  Slow Progress in Earthquake Prediction
Apr. 12, 1985  Tornadoes
Jul. 16, 1976  Earthquake Forecasting
Mar. 19, 1969  Earthquakes: Causes and Consequences
Aug. 22, 1962  Government Stockpiling
Jan. 18, 1956  Disaster Insurance
Mar. 06, 1952  Mobilization for a Prolonged Emergency
Jul. 01, 1950  Stand-By Laws for War
Jan. 09, 1928  Economic Effects of the Mississippi Flood
May 19, 1927  Mississippi River Flood Relief and Control
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Emergency Preparedness
Natural Disasters
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