Engage the Media: The Coast Guard's Public Affairs Posture during the Response to Hurricane Katrina
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
Pagination or Media Count:
During a crisis, one of the most important actions a government specifically the federal executive branch should take is to inform the public about the actions being taken to resolve the crisis, or to inform them about the steps they should take to protect themselves. If the public does not believe that the government understands what is occurring, they will not have confidence in the plans being made. Hurricane Katrina was a case in which the Federal Government failed to inform the public about the positive steps it was taking to respond to the incident. As a result, the public perceived that there were no positive steps being taken at all, which reduced their trust in the Federal Government. A notable exception was the Coast Guard, which received much praise in the media and by the public for its actions during this crisis. This paper examines Coast Guard culture, its public affairs program, and its response frameworks, including the National Response Plan and the National Contingency Plan. Next, timelines of Hurricane Katrina activities show what actions were taken by different agencies, including the Coast Guard. Finally, reasons why the Coast Guard succeeded in responding to this crisis are given, along with a list of actions other agencies could take to improve their public affairs posture.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare