It’s not the kind of thing you want to find out definitively, but the question begs: Is the federal government more prepared for disaster today than it was when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast five years ago?
The answer is almost certainly “yes,” but the only way to be sure is with a similar disaster. And while meteorologists say conditions are right for a big storm, that’s not a desirable scenario. Also, being more prepared than in 2005 doesn’t mean FEMA has solved all the logistical and other storm challenges.
A parallel question is are citizens more prepared? Katrina should have taught folks to leave when a storm approaches. We can’t stop a hurricane, but people can reduce the human toll by exiting the area. The first responsibility for saving lives belongs to the people in the path of the storm. Then state, local and federal agencies can do their jobs. Better, hopefully, than five years ago.