Throughout American history there have been disasters of every sort but within recent years two main disasters, though unrelated, have caught and held American attention like no other; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in late August of 2005. Each of these disasters initiated a local, state and federal response that enabled an undertaking of cleanup of the combined efforts of each level of government. Unfortunately, the responses to the different disasters came under harsh criticism by the American people. Due to this criticism, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5(HSPD-5) and the beginning of the NRF which was put into place March 22nd, 2008.2The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are a prime example of how at that point in time the United States was not prepared for such an explosive disaster. Local emergency response personnel arrived first on the scene to evaluate and help elevate the chaos that was occurring. At that time, different operation centers had been established so that numerous firemen could check in and be directed where to start helping with evacuations. Unfortunately, many firemen also showed up off duty, without checking in and without any radio equipment making the fire chiefs who were directing everything unable to have the ability to keep track of everyone that was assisting.
Also the repeater system in the towers was malfunctioning due to the planes crashing into the building so although firemen had their radios, they were unable to call back to the commend central. This was a major problem because the chiefs werent able to hear progress updates or give orders and updates to the firemen as to what was happening throughout the Trade Center. They also didnt have access to local news broadcasters to be kept up on current events for the entire area. When the South Tower fell many of the firemen in the North Tower actually had no idea what was happening and due to the lack of communications, they would never know. The New York Police Department also arrived on scene to help but communications were down and they had the same issues the fire department had.
When the towers collapsed a great plume of debris and particulates arose in the air quickly smothering everything in ash. The cleanup of the towers after they collapsed was chaos with lots of safety procedures being dismissed and ignored. Many workers wore simple painters masks or didnt even wear one at all. There were numerous toxins released into the air when the towers collapsed that required special respiratory systems but which no one used. Such a dismissal of health and safety procedures should not be allowed to happen in this day and age.
This disaster showed explicitly how much a set of procedures was needed to be set in place to control and organize such occurrences. In late summer 2005, another such disaster happened as well though altogether a different type.
Hurricane Katrina hit...