Shaun Michael Sabia still recalls Hurricane Katrina 15 years ago in 2005, and so many impacted by the devastation. Shaun Michael Sabia still takes time to reflect on the tragedy.
Shaun Michael Sabia knew hurricanes are a scary event, capable of doing a significant amount of damage and potentially even taking people’s lives. The damage caused by hurricanes is usually the result of either the high winds or the floods that the hurricanes produce through their sheer power. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina roared through many southeastern states in the United States, among other areas in and out of the country. One of the most devastated was New Orleans in Louisiana, owing to poor infrastructure, planning, and response on both a federal and state level. In order to aid in the incredible devastation that occurred, many people like Shaun Michael Sabia gave their time and energy to helping people out. Looking back at it, Shaun Michael Sabia wonders what could have been done to prevent this, and how to better plan for future hurricanes?
As Shaun Michael Sabia mentioned above, Hurricane Katrina was not just one mistake made by one person, but rather a number of failings on many levels of government. One of the greatest points of devastation was when the levees failed, thereby allowing the flooding to do a lot more damage than it otherwise would have. It was determined through an investigation that the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the ones who constructed the levees in the first place, were responsible for the poor construction and design that lead to failures in them. If only that was the one issue. Besides all of the stuff leading up to the incident, the response was rather poor as well, Shaun Michael Sabia points out; resulting in the long-term damage of Katrina being more significant than it needed to be. The state government had plans in place but failed to execute them properly, leading to numerous loss of lives. Furthermore, the federal government and FEMA specifically were slow to react to the crisis as it was going on, partly because then-governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, failed to request assistance with evacuation until well after it was too late, Shaun Michael Sabia notes.
When it comes to planning for a hurricane better, there are a number of ways to go about it, but ultimately, as Shaun Michael Sabia points out, it can be summed up as “do not do what was done during Katrina.” For all the goodwill and effort people like Shaun Michael Sabia put into helping others, part of the reason people were in such dire need in the first place was that some people simply did not do enough.