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Diane Publishing Books
Army Support During the Hurricane Katrina Disaster
James A. Wombwell (au)
In Aug. 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 storm and was the costliest hurricane as well as one of the five deadliest storms in the history of the U.S. It caused extensive destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas. In preparation for and reaction to the hurricane, the U.S. Northern Command established Joint Task Force Katrina at Camp Shelby, MS, to act as the Active componentís on-scene commander. Some 22,000 Active-Duty personnel eventually assisted with relief-and-recovery operations in Mississippi and Louisiana. At the same time, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 territories sent approx. 50,000 National Guard personnel to deal with the stormís aftermath. These men and women were instrumental in the rescue-and-relief mission, often using their own initiative and resources in the chaotic aftermath of the storm.Because the media coverage of this great national disaster tended toward the sensational more than the analytical, many important stories remain to be told in a dispassionate manner. One such story is the response by US Army personnel, both the Active and Reserve components, within the broader governmental effort to mitigate the horrific effects of the storm. This study offers a dispassionate analysis of the Armyís response to the natural disaster by providing a detailed account of the operations in Louisiana and Mississippi. The insights gained from the Armyís experience following Hurricane Katrina, as delineated in this study, will make future disaster response even more focused and efficient. Table.
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