Act five was the part of the story that stuck out to me the most. I feel that life would be very overwhelming if I was in the same position as the displaced residents of New Orleans. Surviving a crisis, in itself, is a feat, but living with the consequences throughout its aftermath can be devastating. I couldn’t imagine the type of thoughts that were going through the minds of these victims. To know that your life has been completely uprooted from underneath your feet can leave you filled with pain and suffering. Staying at a relocation settlement for an extended period of time further adds to the troubles. It’s troublesome to envision the daily life of the displaced survivors. With nowhere to go, and nothing to look forward to, how does one cope with their inner thoughts?
I believe that maintaining my composure throughout the duration of response/recovery efforts would be the most challenging thing for me to do. It would be hard for me to restrain my emotions after continuously witnessing all the suffering and destruction Hurricane Katrina left behind. As part of the Recovery Team, I would find myself being disappointed and at conflict with myself, knowing that I couldn’t help everyone. Bearing the responsibility of being the person that victims would turn and look up to isn’t easy to do.
Preventing anything from happening will come with better attention paid towards planning and preparation. Constantly providing the community with vital information regarding the nature of the event promotes population awareness and reactiveness. Emergency management authorities could have utilized better communication practices when preparing and responding to the incident. Additionally, more focus could have been aimed towards implementing supportive infrastructure, equipment, and resources, such as the establishment of supply depots. It’s important to consider that hurricane season occurs annually and with a high level of unpredictability, which is why better preventative actions are needed to be taken.
The first thing I find most important is to educate. Inform the public by providing the community with updated and relevant information. Public authorities should publicly communicate procedures and actions so that the population can prepare and respond to the present and impending circumstances. Emergency management authorities should partake in training and exercises to better prepare them for possible conditions. To sum it all up, there should be an adequate level of risk communication and organizational preparation to better prepare a community before a disaster strikes. Actively progressing through these measures will cultivate a culture of readiness for future emergencies.
After a disaster strikes, the first thing that should be done is to provide the affected population with aid and rescue services. The victims need to be evacuated and the casualties need to be treated. So, tending to the people is what must first be done after a crisis has subsided. Rehabilitation services include, medical, psychological, and physical treatments and therapies. Restoring infrastructural elements would be approached after. The primary measure would be to restore essential functions, such as power,water, and sanitation.
What “Act” stuck out to you the most? Why?
After listening to This American Life Episode 296: After The Flood, there are many Acts that stuck me a lot. Many people encountered many difficulties but the authority did not want to help them out really surprised me. I was surprised how the citizens were afraid of the police and the military especially when they were holding guns which had no firing power. I was surprised when I learned that Demise Moore underwent many suffering on her journey to the convention center. Many people who were supposed to help the citizens the doctors, nurses, police and the military were very brutal to many survivors of the flood which was inhumane of them.
What would you find the most challenging as someone involved in Emergency Management or as part of a Recovery team?
The thing that I would find to be more challenging as someone involved in Emergency Management (EM) is ensuring that all the survivors of a disaster are taken care of through provision of medication and therapy. It is challenging to offer therapy to the survivors especially those who have lost their loved ones in an emergency to let them know that despite all the occurrences they should be strong and ready to tackle what life has to offer. Making the survivors understand that a disaster is something that occurs everywhere and causes a lot of destructions will also be challenging.
How might these experiences have been better prevented?
The many experiences that arise would better be prevented if the necessary bodies take precautions earlier before a disaster occurs. People should have been educated on how to evacuate themselves from a scene in which there is a disaster. The government could also have prevented the experience through training the public on how to conduct first aid to those affected by the disaster so as to ensure a reduction in the number of causalities. If there were adequate communication and evacuation strategies put in place many experiences would also have been prevented especially the number of casualties.
What can we do to build more resilient communities BEFORE a disaster strikes so the impact of such a disaster is lessened?
What can be done to build a more resilient community before a disaster strikes so that the effects of a disaster can be lessened is through providing education and training to the public on how to respond in case of an emergency. This is through providing the public with ways they can evacuate the victims trapped in a building which a disaster has stricken, creating a communication network where the public will request for help once a disaster occurs, educating the public on how to conduct first aid to those individuals affected by a disaster, and helping the most vulnerable individuals in case a disaster occur these are the children, women and the old individuals (Lamperti, Napoletano, & Roventini, 2016).
What must be done AFTER a disaster in this context to build community recovery and resilience?
After a disaster there is need of the recovery teams and the necessary government and non-governmental organizations to build a community recovery and resilience. It is important to offer psychological therapy to every individual in the community to prepare them to face the new life before them. Ensuring that the community is offered financial assistance which would help them to start a new life and establish themselves in a new environment. Establishment of a recovery team in the society that will continue educating the community on how to ensure that they safe and protected from any disaster strike.
Lamperti, F., Napoletano, M., & Roventini, A. (2016). Preventing environmental disasters:
Market-based vs. command-and-control policies. Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa-
Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM).
- What “Act” stuck out to you the most? Why?
Act Two definitely stuck out most to me. Act One began to make me consider the potential that race and socioeconomic class were a major factor in the treatment of the survivors, but Act Two truly opened my eyes to the troubling details of the treatment of the survivors. The dishonesty and aggression that was shown by officials was so surprising, especially when we consider the media coverage of the survivors to be highly negative without talking about these incidents where officials were mistreating survivors.
- What would you find the most challenging as someone involved in Emergency Management or as part of a Recovery team?
I tried to imagine what would prevent the EM responders from giving better explanations to the survivors, or to provide that water to those people in act one. To me, I can only assume that there was a good reason for the behavior. But the only explanation I could come up with was that they were following orders to not only act as they did, but also to not provide the explanation for their behavior to the survivors. The most challenging thing I could imagine as a responder is to have to follow orders such as shooting toward survivors to scare them, or to continually tell people that their was transport when there was none. I don’t know how I could operate in my position or live with myself after making those choices.
- How might these experiences have been better Prevented?
Better media coverage during the event. I am hopeful that this situation will become a normal part of coverage of the event. More and more people have devices that can film and live stream at any time and place in the world. The more raw coverage of events without having a specific media narrative, the more we can see these type of events honestly. In this way, mistreatment and negligence will be prevented due to the understanding that it will be viewed by the whole world and judged by society.
- What can we do to build more resilient communities BEFORE a disaster strikes so the impact of such a disaster is lessened?
I think the solution here is not an easy one at all. But it is necessary. Building a sustainable community resilience starts with building a general community resilience that involves improved socioeconomic conditions for people and neighborhoods. More grocery stores, less liqour stores, more community meetings with civilians and officials to build relationships, police stations located into the poor and dangerous parts of town to reduce siege mentality and lower crime. Educational centers for children and adults and more. If the officials see the victims of disaster as their neighbor, they may care more for the success of those communities in and out of disaster situations. And if the citizens are trained in first aid, preparedness and other essential knowledge of survival, they can help themselves more in these situations where disasters occur.
- What must be done AFTER a disaster in this context to build community recovery and resilience?
People, organizations and resources must come together in order to help those in need. When a city is struck down by disaster in a nation, the hands of citizens should come from all across the country and the successful people and businesses should be ready to give what they can. We do already see this with every disaster, but if it was more organized and received good marketing on social media for instance, then the goals for funding and volunteering might be reached quicker.