Katrina Wipes Out FEMA

When Katrina made landfall near New Orleans on August 29, 2005, no one believed that the Category 5 hurricane was about to become one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. The city’s levees and flood walls failed, leading to the deaths of 1,200 people. The federal organization charged with the rescue and response effort, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), soon became overwhelmed with the task at hand. Despite assurances by FEMA director Michael Brown that the federal government was ready to respond to the crisis, there were no emergency response teams from FEMA in New Orleans, or buses and ships ready to evacuate wounded or sick people from the area. Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, was ...

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