Hurricane Katrina: Providing Oversight of the Nation's Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Activities, Statement of Norman J. Rabkin, Managing Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 242KB]

"Hurricane Katrina will have an enormous impact on people and the economy of the United States. The hurricane affected over a half million people located in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and has resulted in one of the largest natural disaster relief and recovery operations in United States history. In terms of public health, standing water and high temperatures have created a breeding ground for disease, and public health advisories have warned about the spread of disease in the affected areas. Hurricane Katrina also resulted in environmental challenges, such as water and sediment contamination from toxic materials released into the flood-waters. In addition, our nations energy infrastructure was hard hit; it affected 21 refineries. In terms of telecommunications, Hurricane Katrina knocked out radio and television stations, more than 3 million customer phone lines, and more than a thousand cell phone sites. GAO prepared this testimony to highlight past work on government programs related to Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, and to provide information on plans and coordination among the accountability community"GAO, the Inspectors General, and other auditors at the state and local level."

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