Is there a comparison between 9/11 Hurricane Katrina?

Saharra J. White

Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks should never be forgotten, nor should the victims of both these tragedies. People should not compare Hurricane Katrina with 9/11 but they do. Some say that Hurricane Katrina was the Department of Homeland Security’s first test since the Sept. 11 attacks to prove themselves.

Katrina, the hurricane that hit the city of New Orleans in August 2005, was among the deadliest hurricanes in United States history. There were 1,836 fatalities from the hurricane.

The Sept. 11 attacks were the deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States. Until this day, 24 people are reported missing, with 2,973 fatalities.

Sept. 11 is the result of a terror attack and Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster, which makes them completely different. Both Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, however are catastrophes that affect the people of this nation.

The two tragic events have some similarities. They both could have been possibly avoided and handled in a different way, and they also had high death tolls. Mayor Ray Nagin admitted that early mandatory evacuation could have helped save more lives in New Orleans.

When flooding started in New Orleans the response was delayed. There was no one available to help the victims of Katrina when the hurricane hit New Orleans. Just minutes after the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, New York City firefighters hurried to the scene. Where was the help when New Orleans was flooding? Who was there to help the citizens from drowning?

The distribution of funding for victims of Hurricane Katrina could have been handled better. The money raised for the victims was not and is not being allocated equally. Victims of Hurricane Katrina should have received money for relocating, burial funding – so they can bury the deceased – re-training, and to help them with medical needs, including psychological and mental health issues.

Following the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, charities and organizations raised $657 million within weeks of the attacks. The bulk of the funding went to survivors and victims families who were affected by the attacks. Insurance companies and the United States government spent billions of dollars.

Did 9/11 victims have to go through as much paperwork as Katrina victims? Katrina victims had to prove who they were in order to receive aid from the government. How are you supposed to show identification to government officials when your whole life disappeared before you? Do you think the victims of New Orleans worried about having their identification, and social security cards when Katrina hit? I don’t think so.

When Ray Nagin spoke to the National Association of Black Journalists in August, he told the reporters in the room to watch the way the dollars flow. Nagin wants everyone to know that the leadership in New Orleans can get the job done; they just need the resources. Nagin admits he made mistakes, but we shouldn’t make the mistake of sitting

around and letting our fellow Americans from New Orleans suffer.

It’s amazing how we can go and liberate Iraq, we can help and send troops out around the world, but helping our own isn’t a priority. Why are we spending billions of dollars on a war but we can’t help fellow Americans rebuild New Orleans – the birthplace of the blues, jazz and rhythm. Donald Trump plans on buying a piece of the chocolate city. People are afraid that New Orleans won’t be the same, but it will.

Tourist will come back to New Orleans just like they come to New York. The world we live in is controlled and surrounded by money. As Nagin said, watch how the dollars flow. It’s scary for me to see a tourist taking a picture at the World Trade Center; their background is ground zero. How would you like a picture of yourself smiling in front of a gravesite? There’s nothing to smile about here.

As a nation we have learned a lot from the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. Airline rules have improved to keep us safe. Their needs to be more help for victims when it comes to tragic events like this. These things affect our “great nation.” We must remember that we are great, but we are not an invincible society.

We must open our eyes to what’s happening in our home, in the world.

We must make a change. We can’t sit around and watch as others suffer. With the war on drugs, white-collar crimes and gangs, something needs to be done before it’s too late.

Don’t compare 9/11 with Hurricane Katrina, but remember the victims. Things still need to be done, people need help and stories need to be told.