3. Words Aren’t Enough

In late August 2005, the communities along the Gulf of Mexico coast braced themselves for the big one: a hurricane of potentially devastating destructive power. Hurricane Katrina had passed through the Caribbean and touched the tip of Key West. Now it had stalled in the warm waters of the Gulf, picking up energy and gathering strength.

On Saturday, August 27, as the storm hovered, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco asked President George W. Bush to declare her state a disaster area, and forwarded to the federal government formal requests for assistance and supplies.1

At 5:30 AM Sunday, August 28, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a National Situation Report. It noted that Hurricane Katrina was likely ...

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