A two-hour special premiering Sunday, August 27 at 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel
Survivors of one of the nation's worst natural disasters open up about their experiences in Surviving Katrina, a two-hour special premiering Sunday, August 27 at 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel. Emergency phone calls, never-before-seen home video from the Superdome, and analysis of the meteorological superpower combined with first-time heart-wrenching interviews and vivid reconstructions will shed new light on the dark days of August 2005 when a hurricane changed America.
Profiles of ordinary Americans who forged ahead through death-filled waters, mass confusion and devastation to save others and unite with loved ones provide a new face to the tragedy one year later. Surviving Katrina covers the perfect storm of nature, science, politics and extreme human experience with a range of stories and interviews from all major aspects of the disaster, including Charity Hospital, the Convention Center and Superdome and with former FEMA director Michael Brown.
"Getting to the heart of stories that matter, the Discovery Channel is committed to providing critical insight and new information about Hurricane Katrina and sharing with our viewers the lessons learned and inspirational stories of hope that have emerged as the nation begins to heal," said Jane Root, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, Military Channel and Discovery Times Channel, U.S.
Viewers will meet a doctor who, forced to take matters literally into his own hands, performs open chest surgery on a patient without anesthesia and using only a flashlight, and the patient who lives to thank him; a brother-and-sister team who make a harrowing road trip to rescue loved ones on their own; and a National Guardsman who took on surreal and horrific conditions in the Superdome. Survivors who watched their homes wash away and whose lives changed forever share with viewers the inspiration that kept them going and the unbridled joy they felt when finally reunited with families.
What is the special about?
One year later, Surviving Katrina documents the perfect storm (of nature, science, politics, and extreme human experience) that swept through New Orleans and left this country changed forever.
The special will revisit that confusing time by telling ordinary Americans' stories who lived through the chaos and ultimately took destiny into their own hands -- reaching out to help loved ones and strangers alike. Surviving Katrina is a story of human will in the face of extreme diversity, and how ordinary people became unsung heroes.
The special will feature a range of stories and interviews to cover all of the major aspects of the disaster in New Orleans-from Charity Hospital to the Convention Center; from the city's political leaders to its leading Hurricane experts.
Why did Discovery Channel decide to produce this show?
Discovery Channel continues to be at the forefront of providing context to some of the world's most historic events. After the success of The Flight That Fought Back, our Emmy-nominated special chronicling the events of Flight 93 on 9/11, we know that viewers want to hear these stories. They are looking to put these extreme events in context.
How is this show different from other upcoming Katrina specials?
Discovery Channel is choosing to focus on the everyday heroes who emerged from this tragic disaster. There has been so much attention focused on how the government failed the people, and those frustrations will be documented. But ultimately, we are concentrating on those extraordinary people who rose above their dreadful circumstances to take matters into their own hands.
What are you showing us that we have not seen or heard before?
Surviving Katrina includes new footage that has emerged from the Superdome, as well as from people trapped in their homes. Emergency and personal phone calls from those involved in one of America's worst weather catastrophes will also be unveiled.
What will viewers expect to gain from this dramatic new special?
Viewers will have a better understanding of how this tragic event unfolded through in-depth storytelling, expert analysis and up-to-the-moment information that explores the timeline of this catastrophic storm, the failed levees, and the actions of local and national leadership during and after Katrina.
How will the show address the heated political aspect pertaining to the catastrophe?
Brought to you by the producers of The Flight That Fought Back, Discovery Channel has taken the time to fully research the event and is taking a journalistic approach to this special. The goal is to tell the story of what really happened and to let the viewer draw his/her own conclusion. The show contains a judicial and balanced approach.
What is Discovery doing to help out the Katrina aftermath?
Discovery Communications is partnering with Coinstar's "Making Change for Katrina" program, a fund-raising campaign that collects spare change to benefit the victims of Gulf Coast hurricanes. The change is collected through Coinstar's 12,000 machine locations and donated to Habitat for Humanity to support their rebuilding efforts throughout the Gulf region.