As I pointed out earlier, the hurricane of 1900 in Galveston killed 8,000 and, more importantly, was the impetus that permitted the area between NOLA and Mobile, AL to become the shipping capital of the southern U.S.
Galveston was well on its way to being the most important U.S. port in the south but the loss of infrastructure and work force forced the shipping and other deep water dependent industries further north along the Gulf coast.
Will Katrina have the same economic impact? Like Galveston, much of NOLA is below sea level and will always be at the mercy of Mother Nature's whims.
As for what is going on now, not only was it predictable, it was, alas, unpreventable.
A disaster on the magnitude of Katrina in a heavily populated metropolis such as greater NOLA and the adjacent Gulf coast will always overwhelm the available relief support.
There will never (never, ever, carve-it-in-stone-ever) be enough money to train and equip the rescue resources that would be enough to help in a disaster of this nature.
According to the HSA profile
from 1999 there are only 4,722 hospital beds in NOLA area and wanna hazard a guess how many of them are even available for use today?
If those of you on the CA coast (ahem!
) aren't learning some hard lessons from this, then you need to pay attention. Every household in the U.S. should have at least a week’s worth of food, emergency supplies and a gun. I have a week’s worth in my cars alone (MREs aren’t as bad as you might think!) I draw your attention to the businesses and homes in NOLA that haven’t been looted, in almost every instance it was because the owner cared enough to sit outside with a gun of some kind.
Life does not get safer as we advance into the “civilized” future, we just become better adapted and educated to deal with the harsher side of it.