Unnatural Disasters: Thinking About Natural Disasters In A Sociological Way

705 words - 3 pages

August 23rd, 2005; Hurricane Katrina, formed over the Bahamas, hitting landfall in Florida. By the 29th, on its third landfall it hit and devastated the city of New Orleans, becoming the deadliest hurricane of the 2005 season and, one of the five worst hurricanes to hit land in the history of the United States. Taking a look at race, government, preventative actions and, history, all of this could have been prevented. As presented in the newspaper article, An Autopsy of Katrina: Four Storms, Not Just One , we must ask ourselves, are “natural” disasters really natural or, are they a product of the people, who failed to take the necessary actions that needed to be taken?
The Years Leading To Katrina
In early 2001, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a report of the three most likely disasters to hit the United States. Among these likely disasters to hit the United States, one of them was a hurricane striking New Orleans, the other two; a terrorist attack on New York City and a major earthquake hitting San Francisco.(course pack) However, very little was done to prepare for the deadly storm that would four years later leave New Orleans in a devastated mess.
After Hurricane Betsy flooded the city in 1965, Congress authorized the first flood protection system. The project was expected to take 13 years and cost roughly 85 million dollars. When Hurricane Katrina made land fall, almost 40 years later, the system still had not been finished and the cost had been soared to 738 million dollars. (news article) Knowing that New Orleans stood a good chance every year of getting hit by a category five hurricane, leaving its levees at a category three strength was like playing Russian roulette with an atomic bomb instead of a bullet. (course pack)
Preventative Actions
In smaller countries that have a much higher and poorer population, you see fewer deaths due to natural disasters like Katrina. This is because, their government invests a lot of its’ monetary funds into the prevention of these disasters. Average annual deaths due to hurricanes range from 0.5 (million) in New Zealand to...

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