This has been going through the various egroups I'm subscribed to. It's long, but skim through it and check out the "lessons" attached to the end.
Excellent account, but the lesssons drawn from the experience seem all fucked up (actually, I googled the names, and they DID write the account, but someone added the "lessons").
What Katrina taught the US, I'd say, is that government is a huge factor in helping out people in disasters, and if you pick the wrong person (i.e. Michael Brown for FEMA) to head disaster management, you just screw things up worse. Not to mention the fact that Bush diverting resources to Iraq instead of infrastructure (the levees) and his total lack of concern about the environment (the marsh lands around New Orleans, which were natural barriers to flooding, were drained and developed, is why there was no defense for the city other than an inadequate levee) all helped make the disaster possible.
Some of the other lessons endorsed are just as odd--so are Americans expected to become survivalists, storing months of water and food, and maybe a few shotguns?
The "lessons" sound like something the Republicans would put out, just to spin this story their way. Note the implied demand for yet another tax reduction.