Recovery Lessons from H. Katrina

In remembrance of the 10th Anniversary of the devastation in NOLA from H. Katrina, here is a sampling of the many articles and programs on the topic:


New Orleans – still debating development 10 years after Katrina

From the Guardian, this article about the ongoing debate about how to redevelop the badly damaged 9th ward in New Orleans.

Update: The Guardian seems to have done several articles on New Orleans, and the links keep changing. If you want to track their coverage of the recovery, use the search box to find the articles.

Once again, evidence that recovery from disaster may take decades.

Economic Impacts of H. Katrina – not what you think!

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently issued a Working Paper titled: The Economic Impact of Hurricane Katrina on its Victims: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns” by Tatyana Deryugina, Laura Kawano, Steven Levitt. A key finding”:

“…at least in this particular disaster, aid to cover destroyed assets and short-run income declines was sufficient to make victims finally whole. Our results provide some optimism regarding the costs of climate-change drive dislocation, especially when adverse events can be anticipated well in advance.”

It was written up in the Washington Post, but I have to say this is not one of the Post’s best reporting jobs, since one cannot even find the full title and source of the paper. Their title is: Incomes actually went up after Hurricane Katrina. But economists don’t know why. Surprising new research shows that people living in New Orleans were financially better off after Katrina.

The full paper, 47 pages, is available from NBER for a modest fee. The Diva has a copy she can share upon request, for educational use.

Differentiating the Response to H. Sandy from H. Katrina

This week I have seen 3 sets of remarks from federal officials that try to make it clear that the response to H. Sandy did not repeat the problems from H.Sandy.

Senate Committee on Homeland Security, March 20. Hurricane Sandy: Getting the Recovery Right and the Value of Mitigation. See testimony by: (1) Sec. Donovan, HUD, and (2) Craig Fugate, FEMA

Also see (3) Sandy Shows How FEMA Has Changed, by Michael Byrne. Federal Coordinating Officer for New York.

Mutual Aid and Learning: Joplin and New Orleans – update

English: Boone County Fire Protection District...

Image via Wikipedia

The Washington Post ( March 1)  reported on an unusual exchange by citizen activists aiding their communities during recovery. See:
Joplin tornado survivors learn Hurricane Katrina recovery lessons from New Orleans residents

NEW ORLEANS — The group came to help rebuild a city still struggling to find its way more than six years after Hurricane Katrina, and to learn some disaster recovery lessons they can take back to their own storm-ravaged Missouri community.

Recovery in Louisiana – still ongoing in year 6

This article focuses on the slow drawdown of federal funds made available for recovery projects in Louisiana since the trio of hurricanes that hit in 2005. It highlights the financial management needed for the long, complicated recovery  process. Check out:  Another lesson learned from hurricanes Rita, Katrina; December 16, 2011.  A couple of excerpts:

While recovery from hurricanes Rita and Katrina from 2005 has been steady, the money allocated by the federal government to Louisiana has not been all spent. There is almost $2 billion still unspent from the $13.4 billion that was given to the state for rebuilding from those devastating natural disasters, according to the state Division of Administration.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be spent, since it will probably take the state years to fully recover.

While we can be grateful for the aide from the federal government, among the lessons from hurricanes Rita and Katrina is how to make the recovery programs from natural disasters more efficient, while making sure the money is spent honestly and for the purposes intended.