A tale of two hurricanes: Comparing Katrina and Rita through a knowledge management perspective



This study compares the preparation and response efforts to Katrina and Rita through a knowledge management (KM) perspective. To achieve this objective, a theoretical KM framework is developed to examine the KM processes that underpin disaster management activities. The framework is then used to identify different dimensions along which the two disasters can be compared. The data, totaling some 500 documents, were drawn from a wide variety of news, congressional, and Internet sources. The findings show that the nonchalance towards the disaster's imminence, grossly inadequate preparations, and the chaotic responses seen in Katrina stood in stark contrast to the colossal scale of precautionary measures and response operations primed for Rita. The article concludes by highlighting three KM implications for managing large-scale natural disasters.