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9/11 and Hurricane Katrina Disaster Evaluation

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Autor:   •  February 3, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  2,513 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,201 Views

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9/11 and Hurricane Katrina Disaster Evaluation

The 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina were two of the most devastating disasters that have accorded in the United States history. Both of these disasters happened within five years of each other and killed or injured thousands of people. These disasters had a huge impact in the United States economy and in the lives of thousands of people nationwide. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were deliberate and unexpected attacks against the United States Government and the citizens of the United States.

Terrorist attack verses natural disaster

Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster that affected the New Orleans, Louisiana. Louisiana was not the only State that was affected by the hurricane, but New Orleans did receive the majority of the damage. The areas that were affected by the hurricane had several days of warning before the hurricane made land fall. The people that lived in these areas had plenty of time to prepare for the hurricane and in they also had a lot of time to evacuate. Many people did leave their home before the Katrina arrived. But many other people stayed in their home, hoping to ride out the hurricane like they had done many other times. Many of the people that stayed in their homes were not really prepared for the length of time that they had to stay in their homes before they were rescued.

The September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States were an unprovoked attack against the United States Government and the American people by a terrorist organization. The terrorist organization targeted locations that were full of unarmed civilians. The only military/ government target that was hit was the Pentagon in Washington DC. The Pentagon is the main headquarters for the United States Military. The terrorist that carried out the attacks were well trained men that high jacked four airliners and used them as missiles against their targets. The men that carried out the attacks were suicide bombers that were trained by terrorist organization named Al Qaeda (

The 9/11 attacks happened with no warning and they caught the United States government by supersize. No one was prepared for the attacks or the aftermath of this incident. The terrorist attacks caught the American people off guard and disrupted all fights nationwide. On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House administration declassified a daily brief that President Bush had received on August 6, 2001. The daily brief stated that Al Qaeda was planning an attack against the United States, but no specific information on any dates or target could be obtained ( The intelligence report was considered absurd and it was dismissed by the Bush Administration.

Government response to the Disaster

Both of these disasters got national attention but the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina had very different responses by the United States Government. Initially after the attacks first responders began search and rescue (SAR) operations. Immediately after the attack in New York City, first responders from the Fire Department of New York, the New York Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), and the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) (

In the days and weeks that followed agencies from all over the United States responded and assisted with rescue and recovery. Rescue and recovery operations took months to complete and in some places it took weeks to put out the fires that were burning in the rubble of the buildings ( The cleanup of derby was not completed until approximately a year later.

The Government's response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was completely different than the response to the 9/11 attacks. Over the last few years the United States Government has investigated and has determined that the response to Katrina was a failure. It took the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials about three days after landfall to grasp the magnitude of the hurricane's destruction ( Some experts believe that the Katrina response was a failure because there are too many people involved in the decision making process (

The delay in relief efforts resulted in the rape, murder, robberies and the death of people that could have been saved. Hundreds of people were stranded on roof tops of building and of their house for days without any food and water. Thousands of people that were in shelters that were filled over capacity and that had been damaged by the hurricane. These shelters had little or no food, water or electricity. Many people died in shelters and in hospitals because of the lack of resources that were needed to survive.

The failure to for immediate emergency response also resulted in looting, fights and riots. Some of the people that died in shelters were left where they died because there was no one collecting the dead bodies. Many other people died in their homes and were not found for days or weeks later. As a result of this many family member stayed with their loves one after they had died.

International response to the disaster

After the international community learned of the severity of the damage that Hurricane Katrina caused, many countries began to offer their assistance. By late February 2006 foreign countries had offered or pledged a total of $854 million in cash and oil (to be sold for cash) to help with the disaster cleanup ( Many of the countries that offered assistance included longstanding major allies of the United States. Other counties that offered assistance were countries that the United States has assisted in the past. There were also some countries that offered assistance that came to a supersize, for example Cuba, Venezuela, and Pakistan ( These countries did not just offer oil or money that also offered equipment and supplies.

Much of the international aid that was sent by foreign countries was considered, accepted and put to use or sent back with gratitude ( But hundreds of other offers of assistance went unclaimed. There were delays in many of the items that were sent as aid from foreign governments because of the bureaucratic red tape. The even though the United States Government and local agencies were overwhelmed in search and recovery operations that United States turned down multiple foreign offers of search and rescue personal.

Media Response to the Disasters

The media responded to the 9/11 attacks immediately after it happened


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