"The Special Committee on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans Universities of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) finds that there was 'nearly universal departure from (or in some cases complete abandonment of) personnel and other policies' by five New Orleans institutions―the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, the University of New Orleans, Southern University at New Orleans, Loyola University New Orleans, and Tulane University―as they contended with the disaster that befell the city and its universities.
"The report identifies several specific areas of widespread dereliction:
The number of faculty terminations 'exceeded the inescapable or minimal needs of the institution, sometimes substantially';
The notice and timing of personnel actions 'also failed to meet AAUP standards and created needless, even at times unconscionable, uncertainty';
Alternative placement of affected faculty 'universally fell below AAUP standards, but also fell short of the institutions' apparent capacity to mitigate the harshest effects of inevitable personnel reductions';
The opportunity for internal review of adverse judgments 'failed to meet most accepted standards of due process as well as the institutions' own established review procedures';
Faculty tenure (which all these institutions had previously recognized and by and large respected) 'received far less deference than AAUP policy and prior practice [on these campuses] would have required.'" —Press release
+Amy Liu, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program & Allison Plyer, Deputy Director, Greater New Orleans Nonprofit Knowledge Works, Brookings Institution and the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, The New Orleans Index at Five (August 2010)
"Five years following Hurricane Katrina—a tragedy compounded and made more complex by the Great Recession and the current Gulf oil spill—new evidence shows that greater New Orleans is emerging as a healthier, more resilient region. Yet, this year’s New Orleans Index at Five, which combines comprehensive trends analyses with seven scholar essays on key post-Katrina reforms, reveals that much work lies ahead if this metropolis is to emerge with a stronger economy, better opportunities for its residents, and a more sustainable future. The Gulf oil spill creates an opportunity for New Orleanians, and their government, philanthropic and private sector partners, to build on the progress made since Katrina." (August 4, 2010)
"What follows is the story of the first year and the gigantic struggle to save and rebuild New Orleans and the right of its residents—those living here and those we organized as part of the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association—to have a voice, and to insist in every way possible, whether through tears or screams, that New Orleans is their city. They must be heard, and they will return."—Introduction.
Funded by an NSF grant, this project will "identify which communities were most affected [by Katrina and Rita], which will be rebuilt and how they will be different from before." The project will also "incorporate perspectives from environmental science and ecology."
"Two years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the city faces challenges as it tries to rebuild: not just those posed by mountains of rubble and the prospect of future hurricanes, but also a rebuilding effort hampered by inaction, mismanagement, and corruption.
"View the slideshow below for a by-the-numbers look at post-Katrina New Orleans. All images courtesy of the Associated Press."
"The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. George Mason University's Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History and other partners, organized this project.
"The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank contributes to the ongoing effort by historians and archivists to preserve the record of these storms by collecting first-hand accounts, on-scene images, blog postings, and podcasts. We hope to foster some positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories in their own words, which as part of the historical record will remain accessible to a wide audience for generations to come.
"This project builds on prior work by George Mason University's Center for History and New Media, and other partners such as the Library of Congress and the Red Cross, to collect and preserve history online, especially through the ECHO project and the September 11 Digital Archive. It is part of a growing practice of using the Internet to preserve the past through "digital memory banks." —Website.
"To provide technical assistance to governmental, industrial, academic, and professional-public organizations during the recovery and rebuilding of the societal infrastructure systems damaged in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, by serving as consultants and advisors to those charged with the restoration and rebuilding of these systems."—Mission Statement.
For fifteen months following Hurricane Katrina, The Center for Public Integrity highlighted the best coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and tracked government contracts awarded for cleanup and reconstruction. "The Katrina Watch project presents original reports by the Center for Public Integrity and an archive of links to information culled from media and government Web sites." -Center for Public Integrit, Katrina Watch
This timeline commences on March 1, 2002, and includes links to other relevant sites and dKosopedia entries. dKosopedia is a wiki resource, "written from a left/progressive/liberal/Democratic point of view while also attempting to fairly acknowledge the other side's take."—Main Page.
A site operated by the government of Indonesia and its Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) to support the rebuilding of Indonesia following the tsunami. Included are reports of the recovery efforts.
"In the two years since Hurricane Katrina, the federal government has provided more than $114 billion in aid. But walk the streets of the Gulf Coast, and you might wonder where all that money has gone."
The legal publisher BNA makes its Web Watch available for free. This posting includes links to federal government hearings and panels, as well as NGO publications. Despite the title of the posting, many of the resources cover issues beyond contract fraud.
"The most important thing to remember about the drowning of New Orleans is that it wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities and pork-barrel politics. Katrina was not the Category 5 killer the Big Easy had always feared; it was a Category 3 storm that missed New Orleans, where it was at worst a weak 2. The city's defenses should have withstood its surges, and if they had we never would have seen the squalor in the Superdome, the desperation on the rooftops, the shocking tableau of the Mardi Gras city underwater for weeks. We never would have heard the comment 'Heckuva job, Brownie.' The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was the scapegoat, but the real culprit was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which bungled the levees that formed the city's man-made defenses and ravaged the wetlands that once formed its natural defenses. Americans were outraged by the government's response, but they still haven't come to grips with the government's responsibility for the catastrophe."
"IBHS puts forth key fndings and recommendations for reducing future property losses in all hurricane-exposed areas. The three key fndings and recommendations are based on both post-Ike IBHS feld research on the Bolivar Peninsula and a thorough review of building code requirements – and laid out in much more detail in the full research report.
A Texas-specifc hurricane retroft guide based on the research fndings following Hurricane Ike can be found in this report. Geographically specifc hurricane retroft solutions for property owners and residents in other states along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are in development and will be published by IBHS in 2010." — Executive Summary
Dr. Robert Hartwig, president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, testified at a hearing before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday, February 28, 2007. The hearing focused on insurance issues affecting residents of the Gulf Coast as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Links to testimony transcript available in PDF and Word Formats.
A partnership with the Library of Congress and the California Digital Library consisting of a "comprehensive list of websites documenting the historic devastation and massive relief effort due to Hurricane Katrina,"—About this Web Archive. The materials were collected during September and October 2005.
A collection of five-year anniversary accounts by various organizations, including the Institute for Southern Studies, Unity of Greater New Orleasn, the American Red Cross, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (on the inadequacy of municipal building codes), and others.
"This book is based on a report prepared between May and July 2003 by a multi-disciplinary team of experts from inside and outside of the OECD. It examines the economic and social impacts of past large-scale disasters, and draws a number of key lessons for the future. Its focus is on better prevention of disasters, and on restoring trust and securing recovery in their aftermath."—Abstract.
A four year update of country reports, accounts of the relief and rebuilding effort, the effects on children, and news, focused on the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004. Includes video reports.
"Hurricane Katrina caused several breaches in the floodwalls along three drainage canals in New Orleans, contributing to catastrophic flooding. To restore the pre-Katrina level of hurricane-related flood protection, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) decided to acquire several large-capacity pumping systems. During the process of acquiring, testing, and installing the pumping systems, issues with the pump contract and operation of the pumping systems came to light, including several identified in a Corps Independent Team Report (ITR). GAO was asked to evaluate the Corps' efforts to (1) develop contract specifications and award the contract, (2) address pumping system performance issues, (3) document contract modifications, and (4) reconcile contract payments."—Purpose.
"Schedule concerns drove the Corps' decisions in developing specifications for the pumping systems, but the rush to award the contract resulted in deficiencies in key contract provisions. The Corps was committed to having as much pumping capacity as possible in place at the drainage canals by June 1, 2006—the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Due to the compressed schedule and the limited space available for installation, and based on the limited market research conducted by the Corps' consultants, the Corps decided to use 60-inch hydraulic pumping systems rather than alternatives that would have involved longer delivery schedules or required more space. The Corps' consultants drafted contract specifications that closely matched those of one supplier, which, combined with the 60-inch pumping system requirement, resulted in that supplier being in the strongest position to compete for the contract. Further, the contract itself was not written as precisely as it should have been. Specifically, the original factory test requirements were ambiguous, there were limited provisions for on-site testing, and there were no criteria for acceptance of the pumping systems by the government."—Results in brief.
"While the federal government provides significant financial assistance after major disasters, state and local governments play the lead role in disaster recovery. As affected jurisdictions recover from the recent hurricanes and floods, experiences from past disasters can provide insights into potential good practices. Drawing on experiences from six major disasters that occurred from 1989 to 2005, GAO identified the following selected insights:
Create a clear, implementable, and timely recovery plan.
Build state and local capacity for recovery.
Implement strategies for businesses recovery.
Adopt a comprehensive approach toward combating fraud, waste, and abuse." — GAO Highlights
"FEMA's ineffective oversight resulted in an estimated $30 million in wasteful and improper or potentially fraudulent payments to the MD ["maintain and deactivate"] contractors from June 2006 through January 2007 and likely led to millions more in unnecessary spending beyond this period. For example, FEMA wasted as much as $16 million because it did not issue task orders to the contractors with the lowest prices. In addition, GAO estimates that FEMA paid the contractors almost $16 million because it approved improper or potentially fraudulent invoices. This amount includes about $15 million spent on maintenance inspections even though there was no evidence that inspections occurred and about $600,000 for emergency repairs on housing units that do not exist in FEMA's inventory.
"Furthermore, FEMA's placement of trailers at group sites is leading to excessive costs. As shown below, FEMA will spend on average about $30,000 on each 280 square foot trailer at a private site through March 2009, the date when FEMA plans to end temporary housing occupancy. In contrast, expenses for just one trailer at the Port of Bienville Park case study site could escalate to about $229,000---the same as the cost of a five bedroom, 2,000 square foot home in Jackson, Mississippi." —What GAO Found.
"The National Library of Medicine has released a new resource focused on the health effects from wildfires. The California Wildfires web page includes information on the health effects from fires and exposure to smoke; links to air quality resources, environmental clean-up following fires, and animals in disasters.
"In addition, resources for emergency responders and information in Spanish are alsoincluded. Searches of NLM databases, such as MedlinePlus, PubMed,TOXLINE, Tox Town, and Haz-Map (occupational health) are provided for additional health information. It also provides the locations of facilities reporting to the EPA Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund sites in and around San Diego (TOXMAP).
"This web page is designed to help emergency responders, health care providers, public health workers, and the general public find authoritative and timely information about key health concerns from wildfires. Links to other federal government web sites, including USA.gov, FEMA, and the Department of Health and Human Services are included."
An online congressional information services company accumulation of congressional findings, reports, legislative activities, and related documents, many of which are included in this Disasters and the Law guide See also the option to View all Katrina Documents link.