Title: Lessons from Katrina: commanding the military during disaster response - then and now

Authors: Ryan Burke

Addresses: Department of Military and Strategic Studies, United States Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, CO, 80840, USA

Abstract: The 2005 US military response to Hurricane Katrina was one of the largest domestic response efforts in US history combining 70,000 military personnel from various state National Guards and the federal military. The size and scope of the response resulted in major coordination challenges between the states and federal government that have been well-documented. The lessons learned from Katrina brought about significant changes to domestic military civil support law and policies. This paper analyses the military response to Hurricane Katrina and chronicles the changes to the US' military civil support system as a result. It builds on this and discusses how such changes might prove useful on an international scale. Emphasising disaster response operations in Canada, Australia - and to a lesser extent multi-national efforts - the paper presents analysis to suggest how incorporating similar changes in other countries may lead to improved military disaster response capabilities worldwide.

Keywords: Hurricane Katrina; military command; emergency response; disaster response; coordination; dual status commanders; emergency management; US military; USA; United States; military response; military civil support systems; hurricanes; state government; federal government.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2016.079016

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2016 Vol.12 No.3, pp.221 - 240

Received: 04 Dec 2014
Accepted: 23 Sep 2015

Published online: 09 Sep 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article