Reflective Writing 1 Federalism Comparing Government Response in Hurricane Katrina vs. Coronavirus.e

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Levana NguyenProfessor CraneGOVT 2305June 19, 2020Reflective Writing 1: Federalism Comparing Government Response in Hurricane Katrina vs.CoronavirusAccording to Wikipedia, federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government with regional governments in a single political system. Its distinctive feature, exemplified in the found example of modern federalism by the United States under the Constitution of 1787, is a relationship of parity between the two levels of government established. Federalism can be defined as a form of government in which there is a division of power between two levels of government of equal status. (“Federalism”) In this essay, I will identify federalism in how the government responded, during Hurricane Katrina compared to the Coronavirus, based on different levels of government actions, leadership, communication processes, and decision making. On August 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed a tropical storm near the Bahamas; unfortunately, category five did not develop until it reached the Gulf of Mexico. Many people asked, "Why didn't New Orleans evacuated sooner"? At the time, the government was indifferentto victims who were mostly poor and black. Not only that, but Louisiana National guard was alsounaware that the canal levees were giving way. The Guards commander was monitoring the situation from Baton Rouge, but headquarters shut down by then. Over 300 soldiers were trappedin their offices due to the flood, and it took about 24 hours to save themselves before they could help civilians. Sadly, for many, it was too late due to the failure of communication that cost their Nguyen 1
lives. It was the mayor responsibility to stock shelters with enough food and water. Michael Brown, director of FEMA, spoke to Brian, the producer, that it was the lack of misconception. (12:30-13:30) The mayor and governor asked for help but wasn't being specific. Brown talked to Landreneau General, but he didn't have a list of priorities down. The General stated that he did request assistance from FEMA and had proof of it with records of 48 pages from FEMA and specific request that FEMA received from the state for the workforce, equipment, and supplies. Another Louisiana emergency manager stated that FEMA simply didn't deliver. Walter Maestri, emergency manager, noted that FEMA didn't come because locals didn't ask. In Washington, it took six days for the administration to acknowledge the inaccuracy of federal response. In April 1993, President Clinton placed James Lee wet to become the first FEMA directorin the agency with direct experience and disaster management. FEMA finally became the professional disaster agency it was supposed to be. Witt focused on prevention and worked with communities to prepare for disasters. Project Impact gave money to 7 pilot cities; unfortunately, some towns didn't do the program, such as New Orleans. But New Orleans could have sat down and brought all of their community leaders together and look at what risks they were going to face. (26:11-28:00)

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