Katrina taught big lessons

Published 6:49 am Monday, September 8, 2008

By Staff
Hurricane Gustav left the gulf coast, New Orleans and other parts of the southeast in the dark, with trees down, roofs damaged and areas flooded.
But, thankfully, it did not leave us in the state that Katrina did.
Even if the storm had been as damaging as the one that hit almost exactly three years before, we believe the gulf coast would have fared much better because of the preparation that went into Gustav.
It seems we all learned lessons from Katrina, and they were certainly hard lessons to learn.
New Orleans was able to evacuate nearly 95 percent of the city's residents, and many more left other areas of the gulf coast. The local and state governments were involved in a systematic registration and evacuation of many residents who had no way to leave on their own, and several cities took in those evacuees in shelters across the South.
That leadership and cooperation made the evacuation a success, and we know that the lessons of Katrina had a lot to do with the effort.
Because Gustav was not the same kind of storm, we fear that residents won't heed the same evacuation orders next time. But we've all learned - from Katrina and Ivan and Camille and other storms - that Mother Nature is unpredictable and dangerous.
As more storms line up in the Atlantic, we hope that our area and the rest of the Southeast and East Coast will be spared any harsher wrath.
But if we are threatened again, we hope Katrina's lessons remain on our minds.