Katrina: An Aftermath of Health and Safety iIssues

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6:10 am August 29th 2005. Similar to December 7th 1941 and September 11th 2001, this is a day that will be remembered as a day of fear and uncertainty and a horrific aftermath. August 29th is the day that Hurricane Katrina made its second and most deadly landfall on the Southern United States. Released on September 5th 2005 an estimated 11.9 million Americans were affected by Katrina between Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama (U.S. Census Bureau). With only a few days to gather all that they could, thousands if not hundreds of thousands Americans had to evacuate their homes and leave the life they knew. Sadly for all of the ones that could not pick up and leave had to ride out the deadly power of Katrina and hope of emergency aid. With some areas flooded to almost 25 feet of water there was many health ( sewage and waste flooding streets, no food, no water, etc) and public safety issues( high floods, collapsing homes, etc) that would have to be handled immediately for those that were needing rescued and for everyone to come home and rebuild. Right away there were several public emergency groups dispatched to help with the aid and recovery. Once the government got involved more appeared. Being that it is almost the 5 year anniversary of Katrina the question is how effective were these efforts? Hurricane Katrina was a major travesty to the gulf coast; high winds took down buildings, large rain flooded streets and buildings that still stood. Weeks after the hit of Katrina the media would show images of SOS signs on roof tops, civilians waist high in filthy flood water guiding rescue boats to survivors, and of pets needing help. Because of this there were many health issues that would arise and need rectifying to the good of the people. With any disaster as large as this one there are many health issues that have to be taken under control: Displacement, drinking water, growing viruses, emotional state of survivors or toxic contamination (Public Health News Center). The health problem in regards to the displacement of civilians that had to leave their homes is where will they sleep, what will they eat, and also how are they dealing with the disaster. And the most critical issue with thousands of displaced civilians is having access to clean drinking water (Kellogg Schwab, PhD, co-director of the Center for Water and Health.

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