The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

FEMA Looks Back on the 5 Years since Katrina, Rita and Wilma

A recent report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] titled Katrina/Rita: The 5th Commemoration looks back on the five years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck Louisiana. The report calls the hurricanes "the worst natural disaster in our country’s history." The report goes on to state "The devastation caused by these storms had tremendous impact on the political, business and social sectors of Louisiana. As a result, some areas may not fully recover for a decade or more. For many Louisiana residents, Aug. 29, 2005, marks a distinct break in time, so much so that five years after the fact, current time is referred to simply as 'post-Katrina.' Throughout this post-Katrina period, FEMA has remained dedicated to helping Louisiana families and communities recover. To date, in partnership with and in support of the state of Louisiana, we have provided more than $15.2 billion in assistance. We maintain our steadfast commitment to the resilient survivors of Louisiana as they continue along the path to full recovery." FEMA concedes that much has been accomplished in the wake of the hurricanes, but much remains to done. FEMA has also released a fact sheet focusing on Florida's "Recovery Efforts Five Years after Katrina and Wilma." From the report "Florida faced the dual challenge of helping its residents prepare for and recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, while also supporting the needs of the many Gulf Coast residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina's landfall. Under the leadership of the Obama Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched a number of initiatives to improve the pace of ongoing, and future, recovery efforts to help rebuild the communities that are the economic engines of the Gulf Coast." Some of the initiatives include: "Support for States Sheltering Evacuees", "Expanding Access to Critical Information" and "Planning for the Needs of all Members of the Community".