American Red Cross
Four years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast displacing hundreds of thousands of residents. Nearly six days before, it formed as Tropical Depression 12 near the Bahamas and by the next day had strengthened to a tropical storm. It made landfall on the tip of Florida with minimal impact and entered the Gulf of Mexico where it rapidly intensified to a Category 5 Hurricane (the first, by the way, in the Gulf of Mexico since Hurricane Allen nearly 25 years before!). Hurricane Katrina made its second landfall at 6:10 am on August 29th as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana severely damaging the communities in Plaquemines, St. Bernard Parish, Slidell, and eastern parts of New Orleans.
A few hours later, Katrina made its third landfal near the Louisiana-Mississippi border still as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm surge caused significant damage along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, most notably Bay St.Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula to name a few.
The impacts of Hurricane Katrina left approximately 850,791 homes damaged, destroyed or inaccessible and hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes. It has also been named as one of the most deadliest hurricanes in US history, killing an estimated 1,800 people. Aside from the damage of the storm itself and subsequent levee breakages, the individual impact of Hurricane Katrina left the hundreds of thousands of residents displaced, unemployed and homeless. To put things in perspective, Hurricane Katrina’s relief and recovery efforts were twice those of Hurricane Andrew, which hit Southern Florida in 1992. So, what does this mean to you?
Now, nearly four years later, these communities are still working together to recover from a disaster they never dreamed would ever happen to them. It is important that during the height of the Hurricane Season, that you be prepared and have a plan. You never know when a disaster can affect you or your family.
Will you be prepared?