Lessons from New Orleans

By Sherry Harowitz, Michael A. Gips, Peter Piazza, Marta Roberts, and Robert Elliott

About the same time that the National Science Foundation announced a doubling of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide in the last 35 years, Rita drove the point home, becoming the second Category 4 hurricane to threaten the Gulf Coast in a three-week span. Although it was a 3 when it hit land, Rita reinforced—if anyone had any doubts after Katrina—the need for businesses and governments at all levels to ramp up their emergency response capabilities.

Katrina revealed the extent to which emergency response planning fell short, as well as some areas where plans worked well. The following series of articles looks at the challenges that confronted businesses immediately after Katrina, and how the lessons learned from those experiences may shape future policies.



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