This paper was presented at DePaul University in March 2006, as part of a Symposium on Shaping a New Direction for Law and Medicine: An International Debate on Culture, Disaster, Biotechnology & Public Health. Following the catastrophic events of 2005, including Hurricane Katrina, Pakistani Earthquakes, bird flu transmission to human populations, and the real threat of bioterrorism, government struggled in the aftermath to make sense of the devastation and human displacement. Medical teams, try as they might, are not always prepared and alerted as to how best investigate and quickly render assistance. The Symposium addressed the role of government, policy-makers, community organizations, the World Health Organization and other key players in properly situating and providing relief to respond to these issues. My paper describes both the immediate and lasting impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Region's health care infrastructure and recommends approaches to prevent similar devastating effects in future disasters.