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Analysis of Helping Behaviors

The Hurricane Katrina was one of the most tragic natural disasters in the history of the US. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the behavior of people and different social groups involved in the prevention and management of the disaster was quite different. In fact, the hurricane Katrina brought enormous destructions to New Orleans, which became the scene of the great tragedy in the history of the US. The entire state was vulnerable to the impact of the disaster but New Orleans was the most affected by the disaster. New Orleans’ population was evacuated but a large number of people, from poverty stricken neighborhoods mainly, remained in the city that led to numerous casualties. Moreover, after the disaster, a large number of people became homeless and their position was desperate because the local and federal authorities had proved to be unable to manage the effects of the disaster effectively. In such a way, numerous casualties and negative effects of the hurricane Katrina could be prevented on the condition of the effective disaster management and minimization of negative effects of the disaster on New Orleans.

At the same time, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the behavior of different groups was different in relation to victims of the natural disaster in New Orleans. In this respect, it is possible to trace positive, helping social behavior from the part of rescuers and professionals employed in emergency services. For instance, the army and firefighters, police officers and health care professionals did their best to provide victims of the hurricane Katrina with the first aid and essential assistance to solve their problems, to save their life and property of victims of the disaster (Drye, 2005). In this respect, it is possible to refer to the positive behavior from the part of health care professionals, who provided health care services to victims of the disaster. Moreover, many health care professionals did volunteer jobs to help homeless people as well as those who had become homeless after the disaster. Health care professionals organized the supply of medicaments and medical items to the disaster area. The supply of medicaments and the provision of first aid to victims of the disaster were vitally important for them.

On the other hand, the authorities at both state and federal level had proved to be unable to manage the disaster effectively. In stark contrast, the state and federal authorities’ behavior was antisocial. As the matter of fact, they left a considerable part of the population of New Orleans aside of the evacuation plan, whereas after the disaster, they failed to provide permanent lodging for people, who had become homeless after the disaster (Bourne, 2004).

In this respect, the failure of the authorities was the result of the existing socio-cultural norms and social hierarchy of the society. People living in the poverty-stricken areas suffered from exclusion before the disaster and the fact that they were left without any assistance proves their marginal position in the American society. Consequently, the antisocial behavior was the result of wide social gaps persisting in the Americans society. On the other hand, health care professionals performed their duties properly and acted respectively to their professional ethics.



Bourne, J. K. (October, 2004). “Gone with the Water.” National Geographic.
Drye, W. (August 29, 2005). “Hurricane Katrina Pulls Its Punches in New Orleans.” National Geographic.