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Sanxton 1

Alphonso Sanxton PSYC 101- General Psychology Columbia College Professor: Dr. Randi Carter November 26, 2012

Sanxton 2 Hurricane Katrina According to (Brunner, 2007), Hurricane Katrina slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, destroying beachfront towns in Mississippi and Louisiana, displacing a million people, and killing almost 1,800. When levees in New Orleans were breached, eighty percent of the city was submerged by the flooding. About twenty percent of its 500,000 citizens were trapped in the city without power, food, or drinking water. Rescue efforts were so delayed and haphazard that many were stranded for days on rooftops and in attics before help arrived. The city became a toxic pool of sewage, chemicals, and corpses, and in the ensuing chaos, mayhem and looting became rampant; about fifteen percent of the citys police force had simply walked off the job. The 20,000 people who made their way to the Superdome, the citys emergency shelter, found themselves crammed into sweltering and fetid conditions. At a second shelter, the convention center, evacuees were terrorized by roaming gangs and random gunfire. Relief workers, medical help, security forces, and essential supplies remained profoundly inadequate during the first critical days of the disaster. New Orleans was in the path of that particular storm. I remember it like it was yesterday. My family and I received minor damage from this hurricane that year. We were left in the dark for over a week when this storm occurred. The city was mostly deserted during this storm. It was mostly the poor and immobile who were left behind as the storm hit (Getis et. al, 2011). I do not think that Hurricane Katrina would have been such a tragedy if there werent many people left behind. It may seem impossible, but there could have been other ways to get those people out of there before the storm actually hit. The main thing that actually was a tragedy in New Orleans was the fact that the levees failed, which caused a majority of the flooding and drowning of its victims. I had a lot of family members that came to stay with us to escape the

Sanxton 3 storm that was brewing in the Gulf. Days before the storm you could feel the winds that were coming from the storm. It was very sad to sit and watch a lot of people that were pleading for their lives on television. There were many different websites that develop after Hurricane Katrina to help ith relief efforts. Many people do not realize the threat of hurricanes as each one is different. Over the past several years, U.S. hurricane warning systems have provided adequate time for people on barrier islands and the immediate coastline to move inland when hurricanes threaten. However, due to rapid population growth, it is becoming more difficult to evacuate people from the barrier islands and other coastal areas because roads have not kept pace with the expansion. The problem is further compounded by the fact that 80 to 90 percent of the population now living in hurricane-prone areas has never experienced the core of a major hurricane. Many of these people have been through weaker storms. The result is a false impression of a hurricanes damage potential. This often leads to complacency and delayed actions, which could result in the loss of many lives (1999).

Sanxton 4 References Brunner, Borgna. (2007) Hurricane Katrina: A disaster and its catastrophic aftermath. Information Please Database, Pearson Education, Inc. Getis, Arthur, Judith Getis, Mark Bjelland and Jerome D. Fellmann (2011). Introduction to Geography, 13th ed. McGraw Hill. Talking About Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages. Produced by the National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington, D.C., 1999.