Document / Publication
At 7 a-m. CDT on Sunday, August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale. By 9:30 a.m. CDT that same morning, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin called for a first-ever mandatory evacuation of his city of just under 500,000 inhabitants. The evacuation order exempted government officials, prison inmates, hospital patients and staff members, tourists in hotels, and members of the media (Russell 2005; Glaser and Grunwald 2005). The MCEER special report series "Engineering and organizational issues before, during and after hurricane Katrina" was initiated to present the advanced damage detection using remote sensing, damage to engineered structures, organizational decision making primarily in hospitals, and environmental and public health issues.
The report is volume one in a series detailing post-Katrina field investigations by the MCEER team. The study examines New Orleans hospital decision-making as it relates to disaster preparedness and emergency response, and focuses on the 15 acute care hospitals that were the primary providers of patient care in the New Orleans area before the hurricane struck.