Above, Weather Channel coverage of Katrina on August 27, 2005
On Saturday, August 27 ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina was a CAT-3 still in the Gulf, but projected to hit along the Mississippi delta. The state of Louisiana requested and received a Stafford Act declaration of a major disaster in anticipation of the hurricane’s impact. Late Saturday afternoon the mayor of New Orleans (finally) encouraged voluntary evacuation of the city.
That weekend I was conducting counter-terrorism training in a windowless, Strangelovian room far from the Gulf. But we had the storm track and continuous news coverage displayed on several giant monitors.
I perceive that over the next week Homeland Security morphed from being mostly threat-oriented toward much more engagement with vulnerability. This very nascent field began shifting from a focus on “stopping bad guys” to assessing risk and cultivating resilience.
Media and scholarly attention to the Tenth Anniversary of Katrina started in early August and has been surprisingly substantive. Here at HLSWatch, Bill Cumming has offered several notes and links on the anniversary, see recent Friday Free Forums. Following are five more links I hope you find worth your time.
- The Data Center – Fantastic resources on demographics, economics, and other quantitative measures related to the region’s recovery.
- Resilience in Survivors of Katrina (RISK) – This is an ongoing longitudinal study of several angles on several sub-populations. Focus is on psycho-social outcomes.
- Catastrophes are Different from Disasters – The now classic essay by E.L. Quarantelli. Also check out other excellent essays in this 2006 special report by the Social Science Research Council.
- Recovery Diva – Claire Rubin has posted at least twenty thoughtful updates with multiple links.
- REVERB – An exhibition (through November 1) at the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans.
Threats continue to challenge and tempt us. Vulnerabilities can be difficult to acknowledge. Meaningful mitigation often requires sustained collaboration. Resilience is complicated. We continue to learn from Katrina.