- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: Victoria University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 17
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast States in late 2005 and within weeks Hurricanes Wilma and Rita struck bringing about a lot of destruction. The hurricanes disrupted and ended many lives forcing the government to institute major reforms in emergency response for all people and especially for vulnerable and special populations such as the aged and the disabled (Macdonald, Dixon & Zakaras, 2010). The post-Katrina reforms in emergency management policy effectively address emergency and disaster relief for special populations.
The government through the Department of Homeland Security instituted the Post-Katrina Emergency management Reform Act of 2006. This act outlines themajor reforms in regard to disaster preparedness and management (Congressional Reserch service, 2006). The Act establishes the National Integration Center (NIC) under the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). The NIC establishes 10 regional offices. The regional administrator, among other duties, mandates each regional administrator to identify gaps in the response to special populations (Congressional Reserch service, 2006).
The reforms also empowered the National Council on Disability (NCD) to conduct researches and suggest effective response to special populations. Through NCD’s report, FEMA employed a National Disability Coordinator who interacts, coordinates and consults on activities such as emergency planning requirements, evaluating a national training program, updating guidelines for government response among many other functions that specifically target the welfare of special populations during disasters (National Council on Disability, (2009). NCD also requires the government to maintain a National Disaster Housing strategy that includes planning of evacuation houses that house people with special needs.
Following the tragic Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the government and special needs agencies instituted many reforms in disaster management. The Post-Katrina Act stands out for establishing 10 regional offices each under a regional administrator. The administrators were mandated to improve emergency response specifications to special populations. The NCD also urged FEMA to improve response to houses that house special groups. These are just some of the reforms that prove that post-Katrina reforms in emergency management policy, effectively address emergency and disaster relief for special populations.
National Council on Disability (NCD), (2009) Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities. Retrieved 23 Dec 2013 from http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2009/Aug122009
Congressional Research Service (2006) Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions. Retrieved 23 Dec 2013 from http://www.training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu/docs/Federal%20EM%20Policy%20Changes%20After%20Katrina.pdf
Macdonald, J. W., Dixon, L. S., & Zakaras, L. (2010). Residential insurance on the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: a framework for evaluating potential reforms. Santa Monica: Rand.