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ARTICLE SUMMARY: On the four-year anniversary of the event, President Barack Obama reflected on how government, the Federal Emergency Management Agency in particular, responded to the crisis that emerged from Hurricane Katrina. He pledged that progress in the long, drawn-out recovery process would be more efficient. The lessons of Katrina offer an excellent opportunity to discuss the role of planning in organizations.


  1. Discuss the role of strategic, tactical, and operational plans in disaster preparation. Who should be involved in developing these plans? At what level(s) should each type be implemented?
  2. While hurricanes have affected the United States for centuries, Hurricane Katrina was a once-in-a-century storm with unimaginable consequences. What are some planning tools/techniques that could be utilized to help governmental agencies and communities better prepare in the event major storms strike again?
  3. New Orleans is a community that is vulnerable to natural disasters. As the Government looks to increase its effectiveness in responding to these events, why would participatory planning be needed?

SOURCE: P. Elliott, “Obama Vows Not to Forget Lessons of Katrina,” The Washington Post (Retrievable online at

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