Camping & Survival

Throwback Thursday: Hurricane Katrina — Learning the Lessons of the Past

New Orelans underwater after Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was one of the top five most deadly, the third biggest, and the costliest hurricane in American history. Nearly 2,000 died; close to 100,000 homes were destroyed, and the storm displaced almost 400,000 people. New Orleans, Louisiana was particularly devastated when the city’s levee system failed, flooding 80 percent of New Orleans. 90,000 square miles were declared a federal disaster area. With the peak of hurricane season upon us, are you prepared for any natural disaster that would likely affect your area?

New Orelans underwater after Hurricane Katrina
New Orleans, Louisiana was particularly devastated when the city’s levee system failed, flooding 80 percent of New Orleans. 90,000 square miles were declared a federal disaster.

We learned a lot after Katrina—the government and civilians alike. One of the biggest lessons learned was the importance of prepping for a major natural disaster. The Shooter’s Log takes a serious approach to helping readers prepare for disasters such as hurricanes and major flooding. We want readers to be ready to survive if they were to lose power, utilities and city services for not only weeks, but also months. Not only is safe, clean drinking water imperative, so are non-perishable food items, storing alternative fuels, as well as the means to protect your stock piles, house and family from those who want to take it from you.

Also, during your prepping, it’s certainly worth remembering that post-Katrina, local officials disarmed law-abiding firearm owners who were attempting to protect themselves and their property.

Several days after the storm passed, New Orleans officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from city residents.

As reported by the Washington Post at the time, New Orleans Superintendent P. Edwin Compass said, “No one will be able to be armed,” and, “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.”

Recall, then-Mayor Ray Nagin was very anti-gun prior to the submerging of his city. He would later go on to become a member of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, before being convicted in 2014 for fraud and bribery.

It took a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against New Orleans to halt the city’s confiscation efforts. On September 23, Judge Jay Zainey granted a temporary restraining order barring New Orleans and the surrounding communities from further confiscations, and required seized guns to be returned.

It took until 2008 for New Orleans to carry out an acceptable procedure for returning the firearms. The agreement allowed owners to claim their guns without documented proof of ownership, which many residents were understandably unable to provide.

The following blog posts will help you and family be prepared for hurricanes and floods:

Have you survived a hurricane or other natural disaster? Tell us how you prepared in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (41)

  1. It was rumored hurricane planning by city of NO was a farce. The National Guard had routine meetings which were dismissed by city officials so the city officials could enjoy Bourbon Street.

  2. I lived & worked in the New Orleans area during this time. Fortunately I got out….with my weapons, papers and valuables hours before the hammer fell. The city & state governments were all but useless. Unable to perform any of the functions of civil authority they still managed to gather enough manpower & resources confiscate weapons. Mind boggling. The LIB DEMs in local gov’t showed what their true priorities were when things went south. The inner city ‘wards’ of the state also showed their true colors as well. Looting & lawless behavior broke out even before the storm had completely left the area and before the actual flooding began. It was very sad

  3. Well, firstly, if they do manage to somehow breach my perimeter defenses, the survivors will be met solidly with the choice of their lives. Continue and risk the same fate as those lost at the perimeter, or retreat and live, to curtail actual criminal activity. Of course, this is in a SHTF scenario. In a true, momentary disaster situation, I would probably be one of the people attempting to assist those in need. However there are limits and boundaries. Since I’m a vet who was attached to the 82nd Airborne in the 70’s, adjusting central and south american governments. I’m also a “die in a pile of brass” guy. Its all up to “them”, whoever they may be. Easy, or hard, I really don’t care.

    As always
    Carry on

  4. Thank you for an insightful article and possible preparation for the person that approaches you and says, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” I was here on the Mississippi Coast and our family was “displaced” because our house was flooded. We, as well as the folks in Slidell, LA, did not have the same issues as those folks in New Orleans had.
    We had the same devastation with the attendant needs, but, without the entitlement mentality that is so pervasive in New Orleans. Maybe that is what Ray Nagin meant when he made his racist announcement that New Orleans will be a “chocolate city” again.
    From Slidell to Mobile county, AL the folks just got busy as they have always done after a major storm and started putting things back together themselves. They did not wait for someone to come and do it for them.
    One of my earliest memories is of a hurricane and I was here on the coast for Camille. Same devastation as Katrina but with almost NO response from the Feds. Same story as Katrina… everybody just went to WORK!!!
    You speak of preparedness… It is a way of life here.

  5. I policed or twenty five years in federal, state, and municipal, you cannot trust government. All are corrupt at the top.

  6. I was in Baton Rouge with FEMA after Katrina-what a screw up! The ONLY person with his act together was that Coast Guard admiral[same as the oil well blow out later on].FEMA and the feds were[and still are : incompetent,hoplophobic,DC chair warmers. Ditto the American Red Cross.b

    1. You may remember the on air tv discussion where they interviewed , I believe, a general and asked why he didn,t do something. He stated how many troops and equipment were pre positioned at various points outside the strike zone and then asked then asked the idiot interviewer “what more do you want”. The interviewer had no answer.

  7. Lessons learned from Katrina?
    Avoid the “AUTHORITIES” just like they were uniformed criminals.
    If either confront you take your “property” defend yourself.

    1. @ Archangel.

      IF you’re going to go to those “Extreme’s”! Refuse “Disaster Relief Aid” too…

  8. You guys do realize that Bush, Jr. was president during this time, right? This beta test reveals that when Martial Law is declared, your 2nd Amendment “rights” will not only be ignored but most likely violated no matter what banker-controlled puppet occupies the White House.

    It’s long past the time that you need to wake up from this Left-Right control grid and realize that you’ve been sold down the river for the desires of the money masters a long time ago. It’s not going to do us much good to be arguing with the liberals and their stupidity when we’re all sitting in the FEMA camps.

    Anyone that comes to take the guns from those defending their homes against looters after the banker-orchestrated global collapse is an order-following Nazi, pure and simple. If we allow for this, history has shown that the dead will often be better off than the living.

    1. @ Reality Check

      Just to let you Know, there were 800 FEMA Camps Spread Around the Country. NOW there only 390 FEMA Camps, apparently the GOP in Congress don’t what to Fund ALL 800 Anymore.

    2. @ Reality Check,

      You do realize it was a Democrat Governor running the entire show during Katrina; in command of non-federal National Guard and local law that unlawfully violated the Second Amendment by confiscating weapons, right? You do also realize it was a liberal Democrat mayor that declared his own unlawful brand of martial law and was later found guilty on corruption charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison. You do you also realize that Bush, Jr. who was president during all of this had his Justice Department facilitate the District Court’s order to eventually force the mayor to return of all the unlawfully confiscated weapons after the NRA won their lawsuit, right?

      …and your point? I’ll continue to take my chances with the more conservative side of the isle, thank you.

  9. My lesson learned from Katrina is don’t go anywhere near the SuperDome for help or shelter. This experience proved that all the losers and criminals congregate in large shelters like this. I know there’s probably some exceptions, but let me just say that if there’s ever a disaster in Phoenix, I’m NOT going to Cardinals Stadium.

  10. Its the Clinton Era in the White House-an aide rushes into Bill Clintons office and says “Mr. President what about the Abortion Bill?” Clinton looks up and says ” Well just pay it!” The Clintons are more full of crap than a babies diaper.

    1. @Joe

      Ah, Hilary. These people think Hilary is the answer to all their questions about the meaning of life. One of them even has a “Hilary” poster on his wall. I just keep my mouth shut and do my job. At a previous position, it was Obama as they all gushed over him and clasped their hands and tittered about “Barrack and Michelle.” It was hard not to vomit on a daily basis.

      This is what we’re up against. The Libs do not function on rational thought. To them it’s all about emotion and the cult of personality. That’s what brought Mao and Stalin and Hitler to power, and in the end, what either damaged or destroyed their countries.

    2. @Joe.

      Okay, I am missing your point here.

      So, you know what, it’s Saturday night and I am going to go party for a while and leave all this political wrangling behind. My best to all of you and good night.

  11. the major lesson learned from katrina is that dems are pathetically useless in dealing with any disaster beyond overflowing toilets.

    1. @steve b.

      You’re being generous, most Dems won;t get their hands dirty dealing with a toilet, they will call a white Republican male plumber to do it for them.

    2. @Secundius,

      I hope you do realize i was being sarcastic because Libs hate white, Republican males but rely on them to do all the things they can’t do for themselves.

    3. @ Mikial.

      If you were, I didn’t SEE IT. I Guess living Just Outside WDC. Has Clouded my perspective. SORRY, I Wasn’t thinking. My apologies too you, Sir…

      Sec.

    4. Here in NC they are non-union, but still costs more for the weekend service. But hey, we are asking them to give up the weekend. The plumbers in my neck of the woods work pretty hard all week, so I can’t begrudge them the extra pay on weekends.

  12. If I recall, the only people that were collecting WEAPONS were Elements of 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Because the City Police force was Virtually Nonexistent. Until the Local National Guard Units could be sent in…

    1. American and British soldiers pulled the same stunt in IRAQ as well. They went door to door and collected the rifles from good families leaving them defenceless. There is no forgiveness.
      When guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns.

    2. @Jim Oksvold

      So, exactly how much time did you spend on the sharp end in Iraq that you speak with such authority?

    3. I don’t care who shows up at my property during a “disaster” to try and collect my weapons, Po-Po or military. They will be met with force until they retreat or I am dead. There is no conceivable excuse or reason for firearm confiscation from peaceable citizens. I have no problem with them taking weapons away from looters and criminals, just leave me the EFF alone!

    4. @ Secundius,

      You recall incorrectly. The 101st Airborne was never utilized during Katrina.

      The 82nd Airborne was used, but limited to a very specific role given their Federal status which prevented them from conducting any form of law enforcement duty; and thus the 82nd was never placed in a position that would have led to the confiscate of a citizen’s weapon.

      Whenever they were allowed to conduct search and rescue ops or patrol neighborhoods, they were in a support role only and had to be at all times with someone with actual arrest authority which was either the State National Guard or a certified law enforcement officer.

    1. And, typical of so many of the people Bloomberg surrounds himself with, Nagin was just another lying, conniving Liberal criminal.

    2. Actually, I drive 95 and 495 every day to go to my job protecting USG contractors who love Clinton and think Obama is the true messiah. Being a security professional, I provide the best security management I can for my clients no matter what their politics.

  13. What have we learned. After a while and things cool down and something else makes news, like dog is run over by a drunk driver.People forget about the bigger problems And move on. It’s sad and unless you keep talking abut this people will forget. It didn’t happen to them.

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