National Team (Swed)
Eastern Team 1 (Wissinger)
Eastern Team 2 (Brown)
Pacific West Team (Ziemann)
Central Team (Lopez)
Type III Team (Degnan)
Type III Team (Stiles)
Interagency Hurricane Response Documents
Hurricane Administrative Guidance
Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, first struck Florida as a Category 1 hurricane (winds 74-95 mph) on August 25, then went on to make landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi as a Category 4 hurricane (winds 131-155 mph) on August 29. The hurricane caused substantial damage to Dry Tortugas NP and the Flamingo District of Everglades NP, major damage to the Mississippi District of Gulf Islands NS, and extensive damage to units of Jean Lafitte NHP&P and New Orleans Jazz NHP in Louisiana.
Last Update: October 21, 2005
A decision was quickly made in the Southeast Regional Office to bring in three NPS incident management teams to assist parks and their employees. An Eastern Incident Management Team (Gordon Wissinger, IC) was dispatched to Everglades and Dry Tortugas. They successfully completed their work in mid-September and demobilized. A second Eastern Management Team (Rick Brown, IC) was sent to Gulf Islands. They made major progress on providing support to employees and rehabilitating the Mississippi District, then transitioned to the Pacific West Incident Management Team (Denny Ziemann, IC) on the weekend of September 27. The National Incident Management Team (JD Swed, IC) was dispatched to New Orleans to support parks and employees there. The delegation of authority for the National IMT was subsequently enlarged to give the team the authority to manage the entire NPS response.
Nearly a month later, Hurricane Rita followed a very similar course from the Atlantic, passing just south of Florida, then entering the Gulf, strengthening to a Category 5 hurricane (winds over 155 mph), the finally striking the Texas/Louisiana coastline as a Category 3 hurricane (winds 111-130 mph) on September 24. Since it appeared highly probable that Texas would be struck by the hurricane several days before it made landfall, Intermountain Region dispatched the Central Incident Management Team (Eddie Lopez, IC) to Texas with instructions to respond to any park needing assistance. The team has focused primarily on supporting Big Thicket NP and neighboring BIA and other communities.
Documents associated with the responses to these hurricanes can be found on this page.