+Bromberg, Katherine, EBT Disaster Aid Integration: Lessons from Katrina, Possible Solutions, and Foreseeable Complications (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2007) (PDF — 88K)
"Hurricane Katrina was an unprecedented physical and administrative disaster. In addition to the loss of life, human suffering and physical debris left in its wake, there was substantial financial and procedural disorganization in the provision of relief services due to fraud, understaffing, unclear guidelines, and general lack of preparation. This paper explores the problem of fraud after Katrina and offers a solution for providing aid more effectively in the event of a future disaster. This can be achieved through use of Electronic Benefits Technology (EBT) and the centralization of beneficiary demographic databases, which would require much broader information sharing among federal, state, and local governments and non-profits in order to provide faster and broader emergency services and safeguards against fraud.
"Problems will doubtlessly arise because vast information sharing decreases the privacy of victims and leaves them open to criminal prosecution and deportation. In addition, reliance on public databases to provide verification of identification for emergency benefits is likely to aggravate the ability of vulnerable populations, such as undocumented aliens, to obtain aid, which could result in the denial of services to actual residents in great need. An emergency system must therefore endeavor to use EBT and information sharing resources to speed intake and prevent fraud, while not neglecting these vulnerable populations by installing strict privacy regulations and providing victims with the assurance that their information will not be used for any adverse purpose. A fully interoperable EBT system together with advanced planning and increased staffing will almost certainly ensure that the next disaster will not be an administrative tragedy."—Abstract.
+Buxbaum, Jeremy & Erin Ziegler, Giving and Taking: Regulating Land Development in Post-Katrina New Orleans (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2006) (PDF — 89K)
"It is likely that in some heavily damaged parts of New Orleans redevelopment will be restricted, either temporarily, or even permanently. The possibility of such restrictions immediately gives rise to the following question: Will restrictions on development in New Orleans effect compensable regulatory takings under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? In this paper, we try to answer that question, or to at least provide a framework for answering it. We conclude, although cautiously, that it is more likely than not that temporary restrictions will not effect compensable takings because property owners still have economically valuable interests, while it is more likely than not that permanent restrictions will result in compensable takings because of owner expectations and a lack of reciprocity of advantage.
"We have three primary goals. First, we summarize the proposal for redevelopment which explicitly allows for the possibility of moratoria on redevelopment in certain neighborhoods. Second, we situate the current case law on this issue within the larger context of takings jurisprudence. Understanding the courts' trends on this issue, if any are discernible, will be indispensable in trying to get a sense of how courts would rule in litigation that might arise out of regulating redevelopment in New Orleans. Third, we give an analysis of how current holdings on takings issues might apply to the situation in New Orleans. Because of the complexity of takings jurisprudence, and because of the somewhat unusual nature of the situation in New Orleans, it is difficult to make a confident prediction about how such claims would come out."—Abstract.
+McTigue, Casey, The Insurance Dilemma: How to Increase the Availability and Use of Catastrophe Insurance After Katrina (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2007) (PDF — 76K)
"As the United States sees more and more property damage result from domestic disasters it quickly becomes apparent that the insurance industry as it exists cannot provide sufficient economic relief from natural disasters. This paper begins with a brief overview of the problem that Katrina has left the Gulf Coast and as a result the rest of the nation. Subsequently Katrina will be compared to other natural catastrophes in terms of economic issues.
"The second main portion of this article discusses the problem of catastrophe insurance. Two possibilities for reform are discussed. These are (1) a change to the tax structure that inhibits insurance companies from maintaining the large cash reserves required for catastrophe coverage and (2) a reformation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)."—Abstract.
+Patel, Seema & Sarala Nagala, Public Policy Considerations of Water Damage Exclusions in Hurricane Insurance Policies (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2006) (PDF — 96K)
"Many Mississippi homeowners who suffered property damage in Hurricane Katrina had insurance policies containing exclusions that denied recovery for damage caused by water. The Attorney General of Mississippi filed suit in response, attempting to declare these water damage exclusions void as against public policy. This paper examines the merits of the suit, addressing the central legal and economic reasons why the suit will likely be unsuccessful. The paper then proposes prescriptive measures, including changes to the National Flood Insurance Program and possible implementation of a federal comprehensive natural disaster insurance program, which may facilitate more efficient and widespread flood insurance coverage in the future."—Abstract.