Select a significant tragic event (either domestic or global) that has occurred during the last 50 years. The interactive PowerPoint in this unit provides some ideas of historical tragic events but understand that these are just ideas. After describing the event and the post-tragedy events, discuss the ethical aspects revolving around this incident. This may require some additional research to understand the ethical situations and the impact these had on affected people being able to move on with their lives.
- Describe the actions of people and organizational leaders, directly and indirectly, involved with the tragedy. Specifically, address the ethical issues they faced.
- What were some of the actions of local, state, and federal personnel with respect to dealing with this tragedy?
- Explain the strategies of organizations that attempted to assist with the clean-up after the tragic event. Describe several of the pressures that influenced their strategies. Distinguish between social responsibility, integrity, and simple business ethics.
- How has this event affected the ethical culture here in the United States? What other effect has it had on society as a whole?
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans as a category five hurricane. Hurricane Katrina was the largest, most dangerous, and costliest Hurricane the United States has ever seen; eighteen hundred people lost their lives that day. This paper speaks about the people, the leaders, the strategies, the effect, and the activities that took place doing this massive Hurricane.
The action of people and organizational leaders
Doing this horrific time, many people and organizational leaders came together to help those in need and those affected. Each group played a different role, yet they all worked together. Many organizations donated food, clothing, materials, and their time. Many private citizens, such as the “NOLA Homeboys” and the “Cajun Navy,” used their boats to help and rescue stranded Katrina victims; private citizens did this. Not only did these private citizens help, but the Federal Emergency Management, United States Coast Guard, the National Guard Soldiers played a part in donating millions of dollars for economic recovery. However, not everyone believed that these leaders did a good job. Many believe that some leaders face several ethical issues. For instance, (Olejarski, A.M, & Garnett J. 2010) thought that Katrina exposed the vulnerability of the city and region to an unprecedented natural disaster. The lack of preparation, communication, and organization by the key actors resulted in a national failure. (Olejarski, A.M, & Garnett J. 2010). A few other ethical issues were doctors and the medical staff deciding who to treat first for care and who not to treat. A medical neck doctor by Dr. Pho at Memorial Hospital and a few staff members took care of the seventh floor LifeCare patients. Unfortunately, Doctor Pou chose not to make every patient a priority; four of the nine patients under Doctor Pou cared died due to Doctor Pou’s poor decision not to save the LifeCare patients doing the hospital evacuation.
Actions of local, state, and federal personnel
The action of federal personnel, state and local government joined forces to help bring relief and rescue those affected by hurricane Katrina. The government sent Sixty-eight thousand personnel to Louisiana and Mississippi. (Olejarski, A.M, & Garnett J. 2010). The Emergency Management Assistance compact supplied a quick and effective process that moved resources into the region; this helped save animals, property damage from destruction. After President Bush toured the Gulf Coast and saw the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused, President Bush signed a 10.5-billion-dollar relief package passed by Congress to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (Hastert 2005) Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, said the city and its surrounding parishes are not only “worth saving, but they are worth every penny of a complete rebuilding effort.
Hurricane Strategies used by Two organizations
The Red Cross is a reputable organization that depends on the generosity of donations and volunteers in a time of need. During Hurricane Katrina, Red Cross provided the basic supplies needed for survival, such as food, water, shelter, and mental health services for those dealing with grief or just needed to talk. Another great organization that was ready and provided excellent services and rapid responses to the cause was Walmart. Walmart donated fifteen million dollars as well as offered their employees jobs at their new locations. According to ( Ryan S 2005), “The company was amongst the first to deliver critical supplies to first responders and victims and was one of the first to reopen stores in flood zones.” On another note. The lack of preparation, the lack of communication, and the poor behavior of The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Michael Brown were all factors that played a role in many hurricane victims not receiving food, water, or shelter promptly. According to (Olejarski & Garnett 2010), Brown did not show integrity behavior, and he showed a lack of knowledge of his responsibilities. The FEMA Director was waiting for the state and local officials to ask for federal involvement. Brown did not follow the National Hurricane Center warnings. Not only did Brown, the FEMA director, act slowly, the Mayor of New Orleans also acted. Unfortunately, the Mayor worked slowly with regards to only evacuating the city the day before. His lack of thought process played a huge role in many individuals losing their lives, but it also played a huge role in teaching others what not to do.
Effects of the Hurricane
The Hurricane affected the United States both ethically and generally. The ethical effect is that the United States has made several initiatives in readiness for disasters to avoid more losses in human casualties and property damage. Other outcomes included damage of homes, businesses and displacement of hundreds of thousands of evacuees moving and settling in different states. Similarly, the Hurricane led to more than one thousand eight hundred casualties who lost their lives, making several children orphans and more women widows. The ripple effects are that such victims would have to depend on government aid until they become independent. Many individuals, families are still recovering from the Hurricane that happened over fifteen years ago. This massive Hurricane taught many individuals that an unpredictable event could happen at any time. All levels must know what to do and what not to do when an emergency occurs.
Hastert, D. (2005). CNN.com – Bush Signs $10.5 Billion Disaster Aid Bill – September 2, 2005. Cnn.com. https://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/02/katrina.congress/index.html.
History.com. (2009). Hurricane Katrina. Retrieved from History.com: https://www.history.com/topics/hurricane-katrina
Knoller, m. (2010). A Look Back to 2005: President Bush and Katrina. Cbsnews.com. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-look-back-to-2005-president-bush-and-katrina/.
Marbley, A. F., Denham, A., & Simpson, D. J. (2007). Introduction: Special Issue on Hurricane Katrina: schools, culture, and trauma. Multicultural Education, 15(2), 2. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175629541/AONE?u=oran95108&sid=ebsco&xid=6adcba5c
Olejarski, A. M., & Garnett, J. L. (2010). Coping with Katrina: Assessing Crisis Management Behaviors in the Big One. Journal of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 18(1), 26–38. https://doi-org.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/10.1111/j.1468-5973.2009.00597.x
Scott, R. How Hurricane Katrina Changed Corporate Social Responsibility Forever. HuffPost. Retrieved July 3, 2021, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-hurricane-katrina-cha_b_8043692#:~:text=Hurricane%20Katrina%20gave%20Walmart%20an%20opportunity%20to%20leverage,it%20steps%20up%20in%20times%20of%20public%20need.