Report and describe at least 3 major observations or examples regarding the leadership demonstrated in regard to preparing for or responding to Hurricane Katrina.

Unfortunately, the response to Hurricane Katrina still remains a prime case study for illustrating poor or weak leadership in an incident response—at many levels. The lack of a truly integrated response, where interagency collaboration is not evident for the most part, also contributed to confusion and an ineffective response. Many argue that it was the uncoordinated efforts and leadership failings that added to the tragic death toll and extreme property damage.

These assertions may be contentious, yet the National Response Plan (NRP) was in effect prior to Hurricane Katrina, as was the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Therefore, it was the execution and implementation of these plans, networks, and programs that seemed to be the weak link.

For this assignment, click here to view The Storm. While viewing it, actively do the following:

  • Pay close attention to leadership decisions—poor or wise—and how the interagency approach is employed well or badly.
  • Think critically about how strong and intelligent leadership and an interagency approach could have been better used.
  • Lastly, consider and speculate how and why certain outcomes might have been improved by higher quality decision making and robust interagency collaboration.

For this unit, you will produce an after action report (about 5-7 pages) evaluating leadership and interagency issues based on this film and any other research you conduct. (Note: you do not need to find fault with every, or any, selected elements you choose; feel free to highlight and discuss positive instances of leadership and interagency applications.) Think about all of these issues from both sides. Complete the following:

  • You will report and describe at least 3 major observations or examples regarding the leadership demonstrated in regard to preparing for or responding to Hurricane Katrina.
    • Critically assess each of these, and explain why each was pivotal in the response’s outcome.
    • Give your assessment of how each could have been improved or why it was a reasonable choice to have been made.
  • You will report and describe at least 3 major observations or examples regarding interagency collaboration demonstrated in regard to preparing for or responding to Hurricane Katrina.
    • Critically assess each of these, and explain why each was pivotal in the response’s outcome.
    • Give your assessment of how each could have been improved or why it was a reasonable choice to have been made.
  • Lastly, consider the challenges for the leader of an interagency team involved with operating in such an environment. Extend your view beyond this specific response effort, then name and discuss at least 3 significant issues for an IA leader (e.g. information sharing, coordination of effort, managing personnel commanded or directed by various leaders, legal or regulatory challenges, personalities and politics, etc.).
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