Post-Katrina Wildfire Disaster Response Management Essay

Pages: 4 (1261 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Management  ·  Written: July 21, 2019

At the time, FEMA was directed by Michael Brown, who resigned after Katrina. Brown was not the type of leader the agency should have had and since Katrina the agency has stepped up its leadership efforts to ensure that those tasked with leading the agency understand the seriousness of disaster response, know what it means to be prepared, and are aware of how critical communication with local authorities is.

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When Katrina hit, New Orleans' own local government was not prepared either, however—so it was not only FEMA’s fault. Everyone was caught flat-footed. Still, seeing as how FEMA was the federal disaster response agency in charge, it should have been able to manage a better response. Instead, it failed to provide adequate shelter for those who had lost homes or been evacuated. The logistics needed for handling safety and rescue operations were not in place, which caused many hundreds of people to be stranded as flooding worsened.

Essay on Post-Katrina Wildfire Disaster Response Management Assignment

This is where the U.S. Coast Guard showed excellent leadership as it was able to plug the gap left by FEMA and respond to the crisis by acting as an independent and autonomous agency motivated by a “spirit of mission” that FEMA had utterly failed to develop (Samaan & Verneuil, 2008). The idea of having a “spirit of mission” is so important, moreover, that the agencies that do well when facing a natural disaster are typically those who follow in the Coast Guard’s footsteps and have their own spirit of mission in place—like the National Guard in California for example. Their motto of always ready and always there rings true for the spirit of mission that animates its members and moves them to respond adequately and effectively. Since the disaster of Katrina, FEMA has learned this lesson too and is now more engaged in collaborating and communicating with local agencies and governments to make sure that they are prepared to engage in suitable disaster response. Plans have been worked out with local area hospitals, military deployment if necessary, and so on—all of which indicates how important it is to plan and create policy and protocols in advance so that everyone knows his role and what is expected of one when the time for action strikes.


These lessons can be applied to a future wildfire disaster by ensuring that the “spirit of mission” is understood and embraced by all stakeholders because, in truth, every stakeholder has to be motivated by this spirit of mission—from volunteers to federal and local agencies and governments. Without this type of unified spirit, the disaster that was Katrina awaits. To see this spirit in action requires training, readiness, plans of preparation, and know-how. Experienced leaders must be utilized and tasked with organizing an appropriate disaster response, which was not the case with FEMA in New Orleans. Today, it has to be the case.


  1. FEMA. (2018). State and Federal Partners Respond to the California Wildfires. Retrieved from
  2. Garamone, J. (2018). Thousands of Guard members battling western wildfires. Retrieved from
  3. Samaan, J. L., & Verneuil, L. (2009). Civil-Military Relations in Hurricane Katrina: a case study on crisis management in natural disaster response. Humanitarian Assistance: Improving US-European Cooperation, Center for Transatlantic Relations/Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD/Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin, 413-432.
  4. Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. (2006). A failure of initiative. Retrieved from
  5. Siguenza, E. (2018). California National Guard… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Post-Katrina Wildfire Disaster Response Management" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Post-Katrina Wildfire Disaster Response Management.  (2019, July 21).  Retrieved January 15, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Post-Katrina Wildfire Disaster Response Management."  21 July 2019.  Web.  15 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Post-Katrina Wildfire Disaster Response Management."  July 21, 2019.  Accessed January 15, 2021.