When New Orleans was nearly wiped from the map by Hurricane Katrina, the whole world watched in horror. It was a natural disaster of almost biblical proportions, and it brought out both the good and the bad in people’s characters. We saw how failure to act caused horrifying devastation, and we also saw people open their homes and their hearts to refugees from the storm. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.
The most severe loss of life occurred in New Orleans, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. The hurricane protection failures in New Orleans prompted a lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers, the builders of the levee system. Responsibility for the failures and flooding was found to be the Army Corps’ fault, but the federal agency could not be held financially liable due to sovereign immunity. There was also an investigation of the responses from federal, state and local governments, resulting in the resignation of the FEMA director, and of the New Orleans Police Department Superintendent. The United States Coast Guard, National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service, on the other hand, were praised for their actions, accurate forecasts and the lead time they provided.
It was human error and shortsightedness that caused the levees to fail, and five years later, thousands of displaced residents in Mississippi and Louisiana are still living in temporary accommodations. Homes are being rebuilt, and people are preparing this time. Katrina is still fresh in their minds, and they are making sure to equip their homes with protection from the storm.
New Orleans is an old city, and some care is being taken to keep the city as charming as it once was. There are a lot of historic buildings that survived the storm, as well. Hurricane shutters are relatively inexpensive, and they are your best defense against the high winds and wind-borne debris of the storm. To retain the city’s old, Southern charm, Colonial shutters are the most popular style in the New Orleans area. They resemble the old-world style shutters, and still have the impact resistance and wind protection of modern hurricane shutters. Colonial shutters are patterned after the original wooden shutters of gracious New Orleans. When opened, they provide you with light and air-flow, and closed they provide your home with all the protection that you need against the high winds of the storm.
Whether you decide on roll-down shutters, accordion shutters, Bahama shutters or the traditional Colonial shutters of the area, if you live in New Orleans, they are a necessity. While the levees have been rebuilt and the city is much more protected from flooding, you need wind protection and impact resistant coverings on your doors and windows. Make your home safer today, and install storm shutters.