Hurricane katrina evaluation

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  • Hurricane KatrinaCoverageBy Brittany, Lauren, Lindsay, Meredith & Spencer

  • Warning Signs

  • Was Katrina Predictable?Many people believe that Katrina was an unforeseeable storm whose consequences were equally unforeseeable.

  • A Sinking CityThe main problem with southern Louisiana is that it is dangerously low, and getting lower. The levees that imprisoned the Mississippi River into its shipping channel and helped make New Orleans one of the world's busiest ports have also prevented the muddy river from spreading sediment around its delta.Washington Post- September 14, 2004New Orleans, like the rest of the Louisiana coast, is sinking. On average, New Orleans is six feet below sea level. What has protected New Orleans from hurricane destruction in the past has been the wetland grasses.Washington Post- May 4, 2003

  • Receding WetlandsFlood plains serve a crucial purpose, and when a river as prodigious as the Mississippi is denied a place to send its excesses, the land itself, and the people who depend on it, suffer in the long run. New York Times- May 4, 2001Hurricanes don't destroy much property or kill many people because of the winds. . . . The way hurricanes kill people and destroy property is the surge tide blown on shore by the hurricane. In the past, the endless, vast sheets of marsh grass have absorbed the energy and dispersed the water of hurricane surge tides. Now you have less than half of the march buffer you had between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico that you had 30 or 40 years ago. Washington Post- May 4, 2003

  • Engineering of LeveesNow engineers say [the levees] are not enough to protect New Orleans, much of it below sea level, from a devastating flood that could threaten it if a storm surge from a powerful hurricane out of the Gulf of Mexico propelled a wall of water into the lake and the city.This port city's levees are designed to withstand only a Category 3 storm, and officials begged residents to evacuate the areaNew York Times- April 30, 2002

  • Evacuation RoutesRichard Pasch, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center in Florida, said: "It's a major evacuation problem. Most of the city lies at sea level or below, surrounded by water and protected by a levee system that would be topped by a storm surge pushed by a strong hurricane blowing in from the southeast toward the northwest.There are relatively few practical escape routes for the metropolitan-area population of 1.4 million, and even those would likely be flooded by the rain that usually precedes a hurricane.New York Times- May 13, 1995

  • FundingNew Orleans is the only city in which the relief agency refuses to set up emergency storm shelters, to ensure the safety of its own staff.The Bush administration forced the state to scale down its request to $1.2 billion last year, and a Senate committee authorized $375 million.Washington Post- September 14, 2002But obtaining the money on the scale needed is far tougher than devising plans, especially if some skeptics dismiss the worst-case predictions as scare tactics to help finance university research or for further environmental intrusions on the coastNew York Times- April, 2002

  • Warnings by Scientists and Officials"We're running out of tomorrows," Davis said. "God willing, if there's still a southern Louisiana next week, I'm not talking about the politics of the possible anymore. It's now a question of which side are you on: Do you support the obliteration of a region, or do you want to try to save it? Mark Davis, executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal LouisianaWashington Post- September 14, 2002 Meteorologists say that New Orleans is perhaps the most vulnerable city in the nation when it comes to hurricanes.New York times- May 13, 1995Experts like van Heerden consider New Orleans a catastrophe waiting to happen. A combination of human and natural factors make the location uniquely vulnerable to devastation from a tropical stormToronto Star- September 16, 2004

  • Luck?Professor Koenig said that many people here shrug off hurricanes because of the city's "Mediterranean, Latin, Catholic tradition. The Protestant tradition is, you're supposed to do something about your fate," he said. "Here, we gamble.New York Times- May 13, 1995Many residents give little thought to such matters, counting on the knowledge that New Orleans has escaped hurricane disaster in the past.New York Time- April 30, 2002the fates spared the cityToronto Star- September 16, 2004

  • Predictable?YesWe now know that Katrinas devastation was predictable and news media have, in fact, been predicting it for years!

  • Frames

    Definition: Mechanism used by media to construct social reality in order to help people locate, perceive, identify, and label situations/events.

  • Popular frames wereDescription of Natural DisasterHurricane preparationTransportation/ EvacuationDamage (estimated/actual)Crime & Violence (Police, Thievery)Personal testimonialsGovernment (Local/State)Emotive (Family and Children)Relief Efforts

    Media Frames in Local Coverage during Storm

  • The Times PicayuneLocal New Orleans newspaperReported via online offshoot: during the storm up until evacuation on August 30Re-stationed at LSU to continue reportingfew staffers/photographers remained to capture footage despite threats

  • Online offshoot of Times PicayunePlayed significant role in reporting during Katrina Format: BlogTransformed though into the actual paper when storm hit for could not distribute or produceConstantly producing up to date informationStaff members bunked up in shelter to report up to date newsProvidedSafety information/precautionsAvailable sheltersEvacuation details Flooding Storms status and effects

  • How was effective/ineffective?Effective:Reporters/photographers stationed on siteContinuous flow of news yet engaged communityProvided national audience with breaking informationHeld other media organizations accountable for misreporting on issues I.e. rape in Superdomecovered nooks and crannies of New Orleans that an Associated Press or major network person would NEVER have known or gotten rightClarified that New Orleans had not dodged a bullet and city in despairHelp guided rescuers and save lives while providing in depth news to evacuees"I listed a friend's mother, who needed rescuing, on the site and between me and the numerous caring people who responded -- she and her daughter where picked up by the National Guard. Bless everyone that had a hand in keeping that site up and running!Ineffective:No evacuation roots

  • HeadlinesSunday, August 28, 2005: Katrina Takes AimMonday, August 29, 2005: Ground ZeroTuesday, August 30, 2005: Catastrophic (Printout)Wednesday, August 31, 2005: Under Water (Printout) Thursday, September 1, 2005: Hitting Bottom (Printout)Friday, September 2, 2005: Help Us, Please Saturday, September 3, 2005: First Water, Now Fire

  • Voice of New Orleans during crisisIn the moment/real David Cohen- host served as lifeline/liason to citizens who called in for supportStayed live on air during entire HurricaneRefused to carry the Bushs press availability on air Mayor Ray Nagin issued State of emergency & need of government aid/support

  • WDSU Channel 6Local NBC affiliate t.v. station Emphasized importance to evacuate & what need if try to ride out storm/aftermathListed precautionary measuresCovered police reports and hurricane speed, winds, etc.. State of urgency Mayor

  • How WDSU was effective/ineffective?EffectiveWall to wall coverage of what was aheadPredicted Mayors call for evacuationUsed sister station in Jackson to continue reporting while trying to re-establish reporters in new locationProvided ways to evacuateReported what areas( specifically Jefferson Parish) would be harmed the most & parish by parish informationCovered footage of vandalism, water risingIneffective: No reporting during when actual storm hit

  • National News Coverage During the Crisis

  • Ineffective Reporting: Print MediaAugust 25th 2005Initial reporting from New York Times, A Blast of Rain but Little Damage as Hurricane Hits South FloridaFocus is on individual people and their personal feelings, mention danger for the future but no further evaluations or explanation''I feel pretty comfortable that this is a minor event,'' said Mark Golden as he bought flashlights and water at a Home Depot in Boca Raton

  • Ineffective Reporting: Print MediaAugust 29th 2005USA Today, Hurricane Katrina- 160 mph monsterLack of detail in information providedMention that storm hits and damages major highways, not a thorough analysis of the devastationLack of specificitySeems to be more of an update than an analysis of the current state of the areas hitNo mention of aid or relief effortsDuring this time other news organizations included links/donation lines for readers to help

  • Ineffective Reporting: TelevisionCNN weather report: August 29th 2005Reporter Chad Meyers gets frustrated with News Anchor Carol CostelloShows disorganization of reportingAnchor trying to provide explanation to the viewers while weatherman simply scrounging for information to relay to the publicLack of control and misuse of facts spikes publics nerves rather than giving them information to come up with a through response

  • Effective Reporting: Print MediaAugust 29th, 2005 Canada