Essay Federalism: Hurricane Katrina and Federal Government

Submitted By keyyurrstin
Words: 923
Pages: 4

The issue that has received the most attention during Katrina discussions is the overall speed of rescue and relief operations. The Department of defense’s Northern command, began its’ severe weather procedures before Katrina hit, however the departments of defense deployments of rescue and assistance teams did not reach Katrina’s affected areas till many days after she had already hit. The steps and procedures that are in place for the federal government often cause delays to rescue and assistance during a natural disaster.
Federalisms’ major fallback begins with the overall steps that come in the chain of command or major disaster process. Unless the President states a specific request for military assistance, it must originate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DOD) and many other federal agencies. To this day it is still questionable on how FEMA began to prepare for Katrina’s aftermath since a state of emergency evacuation was not even set in place by President Bush until August twenty ninth, even though hurricane Katrina had already made landfall and caused major destruction days prior.
Mayor Ray Nagin took actions into his own hands faster and more efficiently than our own federal government did. Many local news stations had broadcasted that Katrina had erupted into a category five hurricane. Both Nagin and Kathleen Blanco began mandatory evacuation for all gulf coast states that were set to be hit by this horrific storm. Once Mayor Ray Nagin knew the storm was coming to New Orleans, he made his first big decision by opening up the New Orleans super dome. Governor Kathleen Blanco expected our Federal Government to do their duties and prepared for their overall support and aid in disaster help. It is also sickening to realize that even after Katrina had hit there were conflicts between the local, state, and federal agencies when deciding who was in charge of cleaning up the storm damage. Once the superdome had failed and people needed evacuation, it was delayed just because both the federal and state government could not even agree on whose duty it was to transport the citizens. An emergency plan should be in place before a natural disaster hits so situations like that would not occur, and put so many people’s lives at risk that are un-needed. From all this chaos, even the National Guard and the U.S. army were delayed deployment for search and rescue missions because of the slow decision making on federal Government Officials.
Most of the negative aspects towards federalism are expressed to the responses to Katrina’s overall aftermath of her destruction. The role of federalism drastically hit rock bottom once the leeves broke and led to the drowning of New Orleans. The leeves in New Orleans were a failed long-term project under the hands of the federal government since so many agencies and organizations had control over the overall construction. It is also hard to say they were properly inspected and even up to standard. More problems seem to arise in the smallest situations because of how many different systems of Government that are in each section.
One of the biggest controversies that aroused was why the Leeves broke so easily, and whose fault it was not fully inspecting them being built up to standards. It is also important to realize the federal government refused requests to improve the construction of the Leeves.
Federalism in terms of local and federal government terms play the biggest setback way after Katrina destroyed the whole gulf coast. To assist citizens and evacuees from New Orleans, FEMA’s statement was to send…