He was on the scene when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August 2005, reporting on everything from the rising death toll to the wake of destruction. Today, CNN's Anderson Copper says there is still an important story to be told as recovery continues. Anderson talks with Dr. Oz about his work as a journalist and his continuing coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.
Anderson, who has reported from numerous war zones during his career, says what he witnessed in the days following Hurricane Katrina was every bit as disturbing as his experiences in third world countries. "Seeing fellow citizens lying dead in the streets and their bodies uncovered, seeing a family drown in their own living room and no immediate aid—[no one] picking them up, [no one] even putting them in a body bag—to actually see that in the United States was stunning," he says.
Sometimes, journalists may stop in-depth reporting on stories like Katrina after a few weeks or months, but Anderson says the hurricane's wrath and the government's response to the crisis is staying on his radar for many reasons. "This will happen again," he says. "There will be another storm, there will be another terrorist attack, there will be something in another part of the country, and how we treat New Orleans—how we treat the Mississippi Gulf Coast—is a litmus test of how we will respond the next time. If we are failing there we're going to fail the next time."
Anderson says there is still much work to be done in New Orleans and there are two major ways that people can aid the recovery process. "I think people can go down and volunteer, they can find groups that really do seem to be making a difference," he says. Visiting New Orleans as a tourist is another way Anderson says people can make a difference. "I go there for weekends just for fun and there is a lot that is still so great and vibrant about New Orleans, and people should go and spend money there."