Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane that formed in the Bahamas in August 2005, crossed Florida, gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico, and made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2005. It caused more property damage than any other natural event in American history and cost more than 1800 lives. Much of New Orleans was flooded when the levee system failed to hold back the storm surge.
The appearance of indifference and incompetence by the administration of George W. Bush cost him a great deal of public support. Made Bush, along with other politicians in similar circumstances, sensitive to the need to demonstrate hands-on involvement in government responses to disasters on their watch.