2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Effectiveness of FEMA Reform Following Hurricane Katrina


Benjamin Haefner
Dr. Heidi Cook, Faculty Mentor

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Louisiana resulting in 1,200 lives lost and $108 billion dollars in property damage. Levee breaches, resulting in flooding up to 20 feet which increased the devastation. Response efforts were criticized as being slow and uncoordinated, particularly the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Such criticism contributed to various reforms, organizational changes within FEMA and legislation regarding national emergency response in the following years. This presentation explores the effectiveness of FEMA’s reforms following Katrina, comparing government documents with scholarly research and media headlines to evaluate how successfully FEMA addressed public concerns and expert evaluation. In doing so, I aim to address what failures and needed improvements were identified in FEMA following Hurricane Katrina, what actions were taken to address the identified issues, and how have these actions performed under subsequent hurricanes, ultimately addressing the effectiveness of FEMA’s reformatory action.

Keywords: Hurricane Katrina, FEMA, Disaster Response, Emergency Management, FEMA Effectiveness

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 102-5
Location: SUB GEO A
Time: 9:30

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