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Improvements in Emergency Preparedness since Hurricane Katrina: A panel discussion presented by evacuteer.org
Monday, February 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM - Monday, March 21, 2011 at 6:50 PM (CST)
New Orleans, LA
Join evacuteer.org and the UNO/LSU Gulf Coast Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency for the release of the co-produced paper:
Five Years Later: Improvements in Emergency Preparedness in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.
Deputy Mayor Colonel Jerry Sneed, City of New Orleans
City Councilwoman District C, Kristin Gisleson Palmer
Professor John Renne, University of New Orleans
Timothy McConnell, Assistant Superintendent, New Orleans Fire Department
Moderator: Robert X. Fogarty, evacuteer.org
Refreshments and light food will be provided by the University of New Orleans
Despite predictions from local media outlets and emergency management researchers well before Hurricane Katrina that identified catastrophic consequences in the event of New Orleans’ levee failures, the federal, state and local governments were unprepared. “Hurricane Katrina revealed weaknesses in the basic elements of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from any catastrophic disaster” (GAO, 2008).
In 2008, Hurricane Gustav tested improvements made post-Katrina. The storm triggered a mandatory evacuation and the evacuation of nearly two million residents of southern Louisiana (Anderson, 2008). Emergency managers, local politicians, first responders, and community leaders alike were given an opportunity to demonstrate how effectively they could work together to prepare the city for another major hurricane. Though Gustav did not cause any major damage to the city of New Orleans, it illustrated vast improvements made in emergency preparedness just three years after the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States.
Today, five years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleanians and other stakeholders have made improvements to emergency preparedness and disaster management systems. It has been a collaborative effort among the local, state, and federal governments as well as private enterprises and academic, community and nonprofit organizations. The struggles residents of New Orleans face in recognizing the fragile natural environment in which they live have facilitated a stream of improvements and goodwill intended prevent the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina from ever reoccurring. The improvements include:
1. The City Assisted Evacuation Plan
2. The Broadmoor Improvement Association’s Community Emergency Response Team
3. P25 Interoperable Communications System
4. New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Visitor Evacuation Plan
5. The City of New Orleans Emergency Operations Center
6. National Emergency Child Locator Center
7. Tulane University’s School of Public Health’s Disaster Management Program
8. University of New Orleans Center for Hazard Assessment Response and Technology (CHART) program
9. Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier (IHNC) and the closure of the Mississippi Gulf River
10. Creation of FEMA administrator
11. University of New Orleans, Merritt C. Becker, Jr. UNO Transportation Institute (UNOTI)
12. UNO/LSU Gulf Coast Center for Evacuation Transportation and Resiliency
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