Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, causing billions of dollars of damage and a death toll in the thousands. (Photo courtesy of Dan Anderson) by Stacy M. BrownSpecial to the NNPA from The Washington Informer The tornado which devastated an Oklahoma town last month has once again sparked debate about emergency preparedness, particularly in the African American community where disaster readiness hasn’t always been a priority. “We’ve seen the effects of September 11, Hurricane Katrina, and other disasters. We’ve also seen the effects they have had, especially on Black people,” said Cindy Vaughn, a Prince George’s County resident. “However, we (African Americans) tend not to pay too much attention to these things and that’s one of the main reasons why we’re not always prepared when natural disasters and other tragedies strike,” she said. The attitude toward preparedness among America’s Black population remains nonchalant despite frequent disaster occurrences and rising death tolls, according to several studies.