Evacuations and Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
. On September 1, 2005, with only twelve hours’ notice, various colleagues established a medical facility—the Katrina Clinic—at the Astrodome/Reliant Center Complex in Houston. By the time the resource facility closed about two weeks later, the Katrina Clinic medical staff had seen over 11,000 of the estimated 27,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees who sought shelter in the Complex. Herein, we designate the scope of this medical response, citing our major challenges, triumphs, and recommendations for conducting similar efforts in the future.
The majority of patients who required more critical care, including hospital admission, were referred for ...view middle of the document...
Even though systems that efficiently located in well-trained public health responders and quickly establish management structures, clear communication flows, collection of health data, patient referrals, and follow-up are essential if emergency responses are to be operational. It is crucial that all of these steps be continually evaluated and that they are satisfactorily flexible to allow appropriate modifications. It must be accentuated that a certain amount of managing will always be necessary during an emergency response; such improvisation can occur only through regular training and familiarity among the core response staff. The lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina were complicated in Chicago and elsewhere, but they offer an opportunity to reexamine current procedures and carry on to improve strategies to ensure the public's well-being.
As we seek lessons from the evacuation of Hurricane Katrina, it is important that communications and disaster plans explanation for the specific obstacles encountered by urban, minority communities. There work provides an opportunity to listen to the durable voices of the evacuees themselves. These voices lead us to believe that removing the obstacles of shelter and transportation will be insufficient to ensure safety in future disasters. Policies must furthermore discuss the important influence of extended families and social networks through better community-based communication and preparation strategies.
Thomas F. Gavagan, MD, MPH doctor who contributed in a medical study
“On Medical Response at Houston Astrodome/ Reliant Center complex” indicated Shelter participants did not recall specific destinations outside New Orleans prescribed in the evacuation orders. "There was nothing about where we were supposed to go at." (Gavagan) described extended family outside New Orleans who offered them shelter before the hurricane, although they did not evacuate for other motives. One person did evacuate before the hurricane. Others noted that the absence of Amends and family outside New Orleans hindered evacuation. Persons who did not evacuate often thought that they would be safer if they moved to sturdier dwellings in New Orleans such as hospitals, hotels, high-rise apartments, and public housing buildings.
Transportation was an obstacle for observers who did not have a functioning car, could not find a rental car, or had no insurance, license, or gas. Even if participants owned a car, 1 car for the entire family may not have been enough; other family members had already evacuated with it or the family was too large for a single car. Individuals who wanted to evacuate by bus did not know where to board them, reported no buses in their neighborhoods, or had seniors in their homes that could not walk to them.
Deborah Glick the author of the book “Disaster Planning and Risk Communication with Vulnerable” disclosed in her book the few reasons and concerns why those other surrounding cities had problems...