Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, 225 years after our founding in 1790, the Coast Guard is still learning, and still improving our ability to serve the American people.
When Hurricane Katrina made landfall just outside of New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, it marked the beginning of one of the largest search and rescue operations the Coast Guard had ever seen. While the landfall may have marked the end of the storm, it was only just the beginning of a long-term response and recovery effort for the city of New Orleans and the region as a whole.
It was 6:10 a.m., when it came ashore in southeast Louisiana, blowing 125 mph winds and dumping heavy rain. No one could predict just how devastating the strong Category 3 hurricane would be for New Orleans. And no one knew at the time, but the Coast Guard’s response to Hurricane Katrina would turn out to be one of the largest search and rescue mission in the nation’s history.
This blog is part of a series that reflects upon the tracking, landfall, response and long-term recovery 10 years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Throughout each stage, Coast Guard men and women played an integral part in the immediate rescue and recovery efforts. Follow along this weekend as Coast Guard Compass remembers Katrina.
There are varying opinions to the age-old question, “How much information do you give your children about a possible or pending emergency situation.” Think about how you approach “heavy” topics with your children. Do you follow the philosophy that you should withhold information, so you don’t frighten a child until they are forced to face it, or do you share information with them, so they have some advance knowledge?
For more than two decades, Coast Guard port security units have deployed throughout the world and provided security for personnel and supplies needed for Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Uphold Democracy, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and Unified Response. PSU members have also mobilized across the continental United States following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. During each of these deployments, the security units’ watercraft was the legacy 25-foot Transportable Port Security Boat. But there’s a new, more capable asset on the horizon and PSU 311 welcomed the replacement during their current deployment at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
The size and impact of Hurricane Sandy will be remembered for years to come and the significance of the storm will not be lost to the Coast Guard civilian volunteers who were part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Surge Capacity Force. Following Hurricane Katrina, a need was recognized for the federal government to be more responsive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Thus, the surge capacity force was created.
With the threat of destruction looming every hurricane season, complacency is a responder’s worst enemy and aircrews work year-round to ensure they are ready to support their nation and community in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Altogether the preparedness and teamwork at the region’s four air stations paid huge dividends post-Isaac in the form of 28 lives saved and 54 assisted.
When Cadet 1st Class Hayley Feindel was in high school and it came time to decide her future, she – like many students – couldn’t narrow down what she wanted to do with her life. That all changed in 2005 […]
Written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Littlejohn, 13th Coast Guard District public affairs. Hail pelts the side of students’ faces as they prepare to plunge into the frigid surf. Their teachers put on fins while lifeguards float on jet […]