Local Response to tourism
The Catastrophic Index Annex is usually activated in a geographical location in the United States of America that has been hit by a terror or natural calamity. Federal funds are usually sent to such areas so as to deal with the catastrophe. Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast area in 2005. The response accorded to the hurricane is controversial because of the time it took for help to reach residents in New Orleans, Louisiana. The decision not to implement the national Response Plan in response to Katrina, has repeatedly been criticized primarily because of the over 1,800 deaths that occurred due to the slow response in New Orleans. The failure to activate the Catastrophic Incident Annex is a direct violation of loving other people as we should love ourselves in the book of Mathew, 22; 39. The failure to activate or use the Catastrophic Index Annex on Hurricane Katrina has been blamed on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which is the body responsible for giving the details of natural calamities that occur within the United States. The head of FEMA cited in an inquiry that the governor of the state of Louisiana had not included New Orleans as part of the geographical locations that required emergency help. However, the governor produced a copy of the letter that she had addressed to the head of FEMA which included New Orleans as one of the geographical locations that needed emergency rescue attention. The letter was proof that the head of FEMA had made a decision to be selective on the areas that he felt needed utmost attention. FEMA had the necessary information obtained from the weather department that had been supplied over 48 hours before the full effects of Hurricane Katrina (Department of Homeland Security, 2008). The weather departments in the southern states provided timely and accurate information regarding the hurricane, upgrading its classification so as to warn people to evacuate from their homes located on the course and of close proximity to the hurricanes and its effects. Compulsory evacuations had been given for other parts of Louisiana, based on the reports given by the leaders of the state such as the governor of Louisiana at the time; Governor Blanco.
The governor also failed to issue waivers that would allow individuals to drive school buses that would ferry people from calamity stricken to safe areas. There were too many people and a small number of emergency response vehicles to be used. There was too much bureaucracy in handling of the National Response Plan towards Hurricane Katrina. In my opinion, there should never be a requirement for people in the government to sign pieces of paper when there are innocent lives at stake. The leaders that were in power should have used their authority to save the situation at hand, and answer questions later on procedures that were followed or necessary documents signed. New Orleans also suffered the loss of many lives largely due to the faulty levee system which caused major flooding in different parishes. If the National Response Plan had been issued in time, and to the relevant authorities, the lives of many people in the state of Louisiana, especially New Orleans, would have been saved. The governor should have appealed to the defense forces to offer rapid evacuation if she had felt that the local agencies would be overwhelmed and unable to cater to the situation. The defense forces are trained on evacuation especially in calamity times when there are many negative forces hampering evacuation efforts (Gereski, 2006).
Department of Homeland Security. (2008). Catastrophic Index Annex. Retrieved from http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nrf/nrf_CatastrophicIncidentAnnex.pdf
Gereski, K. (2006). The Department of Defense as lead federal agency. 2 (3). Retrieved from http://www.hsaj.org/?fullarticle=2.3.8