9/11 And Hurricane Katrina Disaster EvaluationThis print version free essay 9/11 And Hurricane Katrina Disaster Evaluation.
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9/11 and Hurricane Katrina Disaster Evaluation
The 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina were two of the most devastating disasters that have accorded in the United States history. Both of these disasters happened within five years of each other and killed or injured thousands of people. These disasters had a huge impact in the United States economy and in the lives of thousands of people nationwide. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were deliberate and unexpected attacks against the United States Government and the citizens of the United States.
Terrorist attack verses natural disaster
Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster that affected the New Orleans, Louisiana. Louisiana was not the only State that was affected by the hurricane, but New Orleans did receive the majority of the damage. The areas that were affected by the hurricane had several days of warning before the hurricane made land fall. The people that lived in these areas had plenty of time to prepare for the hurricane and in they also had a lot of time to evacuate. Many people did leave their home before the Katrina arrived. But many other people stayed in their home, hoping to ride out the hurricane like they had done many other times. Many of the people that stayed in their homes were not really prepared for the length of time that they had to stay in their homes before they were rescued.
The September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States were an unprovoked attack against the United States Government and the American people by a terrorist organization. The terrorist organization targeted locations that were full of unarmed civilians. The only military/ government target that was hit was the Pentagon in Washington DC. The Pentagon is the main headquarters for the United States Military. The terrorist that carried out the attacks were well trained men that high jacked four airliners and used them as missiles against their targets. The men that carried out the attacks were suicide bombers that were trained by terrorist organization named Al Qaeda (http://www.nytimes.com).
The 9/11 attacks happened with no warning and they caught the United States government by supersize. No one was prepared for the attacks or the aftermath of this incident. The terrorist attacks caught the American people off guard and disrupted all fights nationwide. On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House administration declassified a daily brief that President Bush had received on August 6, 2001. The daily brief stated that Al Qaeda was planning an attack against the United States, but no specific information on any dates or target could be obtained (http://www.nytimes.com). The intelligence report was considered absurd and it was dismissed by the Bush Administration.
Government response to the Disaster
Both of these disasters got national attention but the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina had very different responses by the United States Government. Initially after the attacks first responders began search and rescue (SAR) operations. Immediately after the attack in New York City, first responders from the Fire Department of New York, the New York Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) (http://www.gpo.gov).
In the days and weeks that followed agencies from all over the United States responded and assisted with rescue and recovery. Rescue and recovery operations took months to complete and in some places it took weeks to put out the fires that were burning in the rubble of the buildings (http://www.gpo.gov). The cleanup of derby was not completed until approximately a year later.
The Government’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was completely different than the response to the 9/11 attacks. Over the last few years the United States Government has investigated and has determined that the response to Katrina was a failure. It took the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials about three days after landfall to grasp the magnitude of the hurricane's destruction (http://www.cnn.com). Some experts believe that the Katrina response was a failure because there are too many people involved in the decision making process (http://www.npr.org).
The delay in relief efforts resulted in the rape, murder, robberies and the death of people that could have been saved. Hundreds of people were stranded on roof tops of building and of their house for days without any food and water. Thousands of people that were in shelters that were filled over capacity and that had been damaged by the hurricane. These shelters had little or no food, water or electricity. Many people died in shelters and in hospitals because of the lack of resources that were needed to survive.
The failure to for immediate emergency response also resulted in looting, fights and riots. Some of the people that died in shelters were left where they died because there was no one collecting the dead bodies. Many other people died in their homes and were not found for days or weeks later. As a result of this many family member stayed with their loves one after they had died.
International response to the disaster
After the international community learned of the severity of the damage that Hurricane Katrina caused, many countries began to offer their assistance. By late February 2006 foreign countries had offered or pledged a total of $854 million in cash and oil (to be sold for cash) to help with the disaster cleanup (http://www.heritage.org). Many of the countries that offered assistance included longstanding major allies of the United States. Other counties that offered assistance were countries that the United States has assisted in the past. There were also some countries that offered assistance that came to a supersize, for example Cuba, Venezuela, and Pakistan (http://www.heritage.org). These countries did not just offer oil or money that also offered equipment and supplies.
Much of the international aid that was sent by foreign countries was considered, accepted and put to use or sent back with gratitude (http://www.heritage.org). But hundreds of other offers of assistance went unclaimed. There were delays in many of the items that were sent as aid from foreign governments because of the bureaucratic red tape. The even though the United States Government and local agencies were overwhelmed in search and recovery operations that United States turned down multiple foreign offers of search and rescue personal.
Media Response to the Disasters
The media responded to the 9/11 attacks immediately after it happened and thousands or millions of American witnessed the attacks on fold on national TV. The media played a big part in broad casting the attacks live not just to the United States people, but also to the world. Americans nationwide and around the world could see witnessed the airplane hitting the World Trade Centers. They also saw how they two buildings came down in second killing thousands of people.
The media also played a very big part in broad casting the events of Hurricane Katrina. The media showed the graphic pictures of people stranded on roof tops being rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. They also should the damage and devastation that the hurricane created. The media also showed and critiqued the government’s response to the devastated areas.
Many of the victims, survivors and first responders that witnessed the devastation and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks or Hurricane Katrina have developed psychological symptoms. Many of the psychological symptoms that many people developed can be very similar. Although everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and the incidents were very different, many of the people experienced many of the same feelings (http://www.nmha.org). This is very common during a stressful situation where a dead feels that he/she is going to die.
Some of the psychological symptoms that many of the survivors and first responders developed were Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Depression, Fear, Helplessness, Anxiety disorder and Substance Abuse. These disorders are associated to what the survivors and first responders experienced or witnessed during a traumatic event like 9/11 attacks or Hurricane Katrina. A traumatic event is a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood (http://www.nmha.org). These psychological disorders can have short and long term effects that can devastate a person’s life if they go untreated.
One of the most common psychological disorders that has been diagnosed with many of the survivors and emergency responders of the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina is PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a traumatic event (http://www.nmha.org). A survey that was conducted by the World Trade Center Health Registry indicates that nearly 30,000 rescue and recovery workers were interviewed. The survey shows that one in eight rescue and recovery workers (12.4 percent) likely had post-traumatic stress disorder when they were interviewed in 2003 and 2004 (http://psychcentral.com).
Many of the survivors and emergency responders of Hurricane Katrina also experienced PTSD. A study was also conducted months after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana. The results show that almost half the people living in New Orleans showed signs of a mood or anxiety disorder five to seven months after the disaster (http://abcnews.go.com). The study also showed that a lot of people that live in surrounding areas also showed signs of psychological symptoms. The study further show that anxiety-mood disorders were most likely to occur in people who were younger than age 60, female, did not graduate from college, had low family income, and were unmarried or unemployed before the hurricane (http://abcnews.go.com).
Substance abuse is also very common with people that have survived and first responders. Substance abuse can be anything from the use of illegal drugs to the abusing alcohol or prescription medication. Many people that suffer from psychological disorders resort to substance abuse, because it gives them a temporary escape from reality. Substance abuse can lead to other problems that can have a long term affect life and their family. The most common things for first responders to abuse is alcohol, this is because many the majority of the first responders get regular drug test by their agencies.
Resources Available to Treat and Assist Victims of a Disaster
After a national disaster normally government agencies and nonprofit organization set up treatment centers and victim assistance programs. These programs are created to provide medical treatment and financial assistance to the survivors and the families of victims. The programs can offer short and long term assistance to victims of a disaster. The programs can also assist first responders and emergency works that are affected by the disaster.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance program. This program is designed to help victims and survivors with many different things. They can help find family member that are lost or have been evacuated to different locations or apply for financial assistance (http://www.fema.gov). They can also help with the insurance claim process, finding a place to stay or relocating. They also provide counseling and education for adults and children that can help them cope with a disaster.
After the 9/11 attacks in New York City, the State of New York posted information on their government website that offers information of the symptoms psychological disorders like PTSD. They also provide information on substance abuse and phone number where some can call if they need any kind of assistance 24 hours a day. They also have information that can be useful if a person is experiencing any kind of medical problems that are linked to the 9/11 attacks.
Programs were also developed to assist the victims and survivors of the Hurricane Katrina. The programs assisted people with housing and medical expenses. Many of these programs were created by nonprofit organizations that wanted to help the victims.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the United States and Hurricane Katrina are two very different national disasters. One of the disasters was an act of terror that targeted innocent unnamed men, women and children. The attack was conducted with no warning by suicide bombers that used commercial air planes as weapons. The other disaster was a force of nature and the areas that were affected by the hurricane had day or weeks to evacuate the area. These two events also had very different response efforts by the United States Government. But they both drew national and international assistance.
Many of the victims, survivors and emergency workers are still dealing with the effects of these two incidents. Many of the people involved in these incidents have had short and long term effects from the incidents. The United States Government and nonprofit organization provide assistance to anybody that has been affected by these incidents. The assistance can be in a form of financial, education, and medical assistance. The programs that are available for victims, survivors and emergency workers can be short or long term assistance.
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