2009 Uncategorized

Comparing the 2008 Canadian Listeriosis outbreak and 2005 Hurricane Katrina response


Many investigations have been conducted and reports have been released by the US and Canadian governments in response to these crises. These reports and discourse on how to manage these situations are crucial to handling future events of a similar nature. While the Maple Leaf response was quick and decisive and took more of an approach to contain and counteract, unfortunately for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the same could not be said of the US management of that crisis. Maple Leaf has many protocols in place to prevent and effectively contain future outbreaks due to contaminated product. After similar events – particularly Hurricane Andrew in 1992 – the United States should have in nearly the same position, if not better. That is, the government should have been more thoroughly prepared for several eventualities of such a disaster and been more proactive and less reactive. Hopefully, American leadership has now engaged in more actions that embody this attitude. Authorities, stakeholders, and communicators can use the hindsight of these scenarios as insight and foresight for future events.

Prudence would have us acknowledge that these “incidents are neither unprecedented nor unlikely to recur” and it is “all the more urgent that we draw appropriate lessons” from these experiences. (Miller, n.d., p. 191)