Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Army Planning and Operations

Lynn E. Davis
Jill Rough
Gary Cecchine
Agnes Gereben Schaefer
Laurinda L. Zeman
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 106
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  • Book Info
    Hurricane Katrina
    Book Description:

    The efforts undertaken by civilian and military organizations in response to Hurricane Katrina were historically unprecedented, but a number of changes would enhance future Army and National Guard disaster-response efforts, including preparing governors to call up Guard units for out-of-state emergencies and the creation of regional standing homeland security task forces.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4274-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Hurricane Katrina was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters ever to hit the United States. While 65 hurricanes of Category Three strength or higher made landfall in the United States between 1900 and 2000,¹ Hurricane Katrina stands out for several reasons. First, Hurricane Katrina was an extremely large storm, with hurricane force winds stretching 103 miles from its center² and tropical storm force winds extending 230 miles from its center.³ As a result, Hurricane Katrina impacted 93,000 square miles of the United States.⁴ At its peak, the storm’s winds reached 175 mph.⁵ Second, Hurricane Katrina produced an immense storm...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Background
    (pp. 11-18)

    Responding to domestic emergencies within the United States is primarily the purview of local and state governments, both by design and in how the nation has responded to such events historically. The federal government plays a supporting role, recognizing that local and state governments are in the best position to understand the needs of their citizens and to respond quickly. For those things that states and localities cannot accomplish, the nation turns to civilian and then military organizations in the federal government. In the case of major domestic emergencies, the federal role has been critical, but it has always been...

  11. CHAPTER THREE The Military Response to Hurricane Katrina
    (pp. 19-46)

    Military forces played a critical role in the nation’s response to Hurricane Katrina, so we initially focused our research on the timeliness and robustness of the deployments of the National Guard and active-duty forces, as well as on the characteristics of the military C² structure used during the response. We looked for the lessons to be learned, highlighting both accomplishments and problems.

    State governors have a long history of calling on their National Guard to respond to domestic emergencies. The response of the National Guard in Hurricane Katrina is praised for its size and comprehensiveness in the various lessons-learned reports...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Implications for Army Planning and Operations
    (pp. 47-72)

    After completing a review of the events and time line of the military response to Hurricane Katrina, we turned our attention to the question of whether changes in the roles and responsibilities of the National Guard and active-duty forces during domestic emergencies would enable them to better respond. We also investigated whether new C² arrangements are needed among the military forces operating within the United States.

    In responding to domestic emergencies, the United States is likely to continue to give primary responsibility to local and state officials, who best understand the situations as they arise, have the kinds of capabilities...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 73-76)

    Hurricane Katrina, as catastrophic as it was, provides the United States with an opportunity to become better prepared for the future. The nation’s response to this event was heroic, impressive, and unprecedented, but it was also tragically delayed in accomplishing rescues and evacuations and providing relief to affected citizens. The various lessons-learned reports chronicle the events of the storm and its aftermath, highlighting the many deficiencies of the response efforts. Numerous steps have been taken to improve the nation’s readiness, including changes in the NRP and the ways that civilian and military operations are coordinated at all levels of government....

  14. APPENDIX Situational Awareness in Hurricane Katrina
    (pp. 77-82)
  15. References
    (pp. 83-88)