In contrast, pre-Katrina New Orleans faced the storm with a deficient health care system that produced some of the poorest health care indicators in the country. Nature may have brought Katrina to the city and the levees let the water in, but arguably it was the city's inability to cope that left the disaster unmitigated. New Orleans was already struggling to meet the mental health needs of its residents, especially those with serious mental illness. How could they—the mental health providers, their patients, or the general population—be prepared for the devastation, uncertainty, and displacement that came with the flood? Many providers were evacuated, leaving the city without its health care safety net for individuals with long-term or new mental illness. Displaced providers, like others, suffered the trauma of dislocation and the stress of being severed from normal life for months.