Try the fastest way to create flashcards
Expert Q&A

English Expert Q&A

1 - 15 of 5K+ results

Hurricane Katrina: Is Anybody Out There? After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress approved nearly $1\$ 1 billion for the creation of a communications system that would keep government agencies and emergency workers connected during emergencies. But when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Louisiana Senator Robert Barham learned that "we're no better off than we were then." Katrina was one of the costliest and most destructive hurricanes to hit the United States. The heavy winds and rainfall destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings in the southeastern states. More than a million people were evacuated, and hundreds of thousands were left unemployed and homeless. When the levees protecting New Orleans broke and the city began flooding, radio towers were severely damaged, making communication between the police and fire departments nearly impossible. Though some radio towers could have been repaired, technicians weren't allowed to enter the city for three days. Why? State troopers who were surrounding the city to keep people out of the flooded areas weren't able to communicate with other officials, so they didn't know that they should allow the technicians in to repair the towers. Cell phone and regular phone service were also lost, so the first people on the scene couldn't share important information. The national guard finally had to resort to communicating through messengers. An Internet phone link to allow communication between government agencies was pieced together, but not quickly enough. Federal officials claim they had no idea how dire the situation really was, so help didn't arrive for days.

According to Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, the hurricane exposed a "totally failed communication system." Though the Department of Homeland Security has given states millions of dollars to create emergency communication systems, it has not told states what to buy. It has only told states that the systems should be able to communicate with other agencies' systems. When creating public safety communication systems, time is another consideration. According to Adrienne Dimopoulos, a spokeswoman for Motorola, "It takes a long time to design them; it takes a long time to implement them. They're costly." Yet even with the best equipment, communication breakdowns can't be avoided entirely. Human errors and poor interpersonal skills can be just as costly and devastating. If people aren't on the same page, mistakes will happen. Agencies need to train their staff to know how to use the equipment and how to communicate so messages are understood by everyone. Question

Miscommunication can occur at any level of government-local, state, or federal. State a recent instance of government miscommunication that resulted in the misspending of tax dollars or in public embarrassment for the officials involved.