On August 27th, 2005, Louisiana’s local and state officials gather together after hearing an announcement from the National Weather Service: Hurricane Katrina, which has already severely damaged Florida, could send a storm surge over the top of the New Orleans levees. These leaders now must rapidly make decisions to best protect their city, people, and property. Is an evacuation necessary? How can they organize rescue efforts? What to do with the relief money that will surely flow in?
However, even armed with an Emergency Response guide, there is no clear path for these leaders. New Orleans has struggled with a deep racial and economic divisions for its entire history. To come back from the storm, these leaders must prove they can rebuild New Orleans and rebuild it stronger, fairer, and safer than it was before. One of the worst natural disasters in American history is bearing down on one of our most iconic cities, and the waters are rising.