"Drawing on an analysis of New Orleans' recent development history, [this report] shows how the region's past development trends exacerbated the catastrophe, and suggests how the region might rise again on a better footing by undoing the mistakes of the past."—Executive Summary. Links from the URL above include the full 45-page report (PDF), the Executive Summary, and related resources.
"This report provides an overview of NEPA requirements relevant to the hurricanes response and recovery efforts, its application to emergency and non-emergency actions related to the disaster, NEPA's role in two past flood and
hurricane control projects that have been discussed in the press, and legislative proposals that relate to the NEPA process. It will be updated as developments warrant."—Summary.
"The purpose of this compendium is to summarize the ongoing and planned activities of the Inspectors General community in their oversight of response and recovery efforts related to Hurricane Katrina. The compendium includes the activities of those OIGs whose Departments were part of the initial response phase or have received significant mission assignments from FEMA."—Introduction and Background.
"The federal I[nspector] G[eneral] community was a natural fit for oversight and stewardship of the largest disaster recovery funding effort in U.S. history. With the many cross-cutting bureaucracies involved, the federal IGs offered the capacity needed for consistent reporting and the preventive interaction to execute the billions in recovery dollars."&mdashExecutive Summary. This report describes IG oversight activities, including agency audits, investigations, and inspections, during the wake of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
"Traditional law and economics has no place for price controls. Yet public support for anti-gouging legislation has led to the enactment of a variety of legal regimes to control price hikes following natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes and terrorist attacks. This Essay provides an economic justification for such laws. First, the Essay surveys the existing models of anti-gouging legislation. Then, the Essay describes the traditional economic critique of price caps, a critique applied to laws that attempt to control post-disaster prices. Finally, the Essay argues that anti-gouging laws enhance economic efficiency by ensuring a functioning consumer market after the collapse of electronic payment systems on which the American economy now depends. The externalities of consumption in post-disaster environments mean that the costs of consumers forgoing needed products are not adequately captured by a reliance on market mechanisms. This analysis suggests that current anti-gouging laws should be restructured to include a more discrete focus on areas actually affected by physical damage from natural or man-made disasters." —Abstract.
"Hurricane Katrina was more devastating than Betsy. The death toll is sure to be many times as high and the physical damage far more extensive and enduring. And yet to see the city of New Orleans a week after the flood, to see the ruin, was to be shocked much as [President] Johnson was forty years ago."
"Many of the New Orleans levee and floodwall failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina occurred at weak-link junctions where different levee or wall sections joined together, according to a preliminary report [PDF—12.5M] released today (Wednesday, Nov. 2) by independent investigators from the University of California, Berkeley, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)."
"In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Congress passed new exceptions to U.S. procurement rules. The most important new exception, passed at the recommendation of the Bush administration, raised the limit for micro-purchases - essentially unregulated purchases - from $2,500 to $250,000. In practice, this will mean that Katrina relief purchases may be made, up to $250,000 per order, without any effective transparency or competition, and without honoring the many socioeconomic requirements that are an important part of the U.S. procurement system. This comment reviews that emergency legislation, and suggests that the new law, by abandoning basic principles of sound procurement, raises real risks in the post-Katrina relief effort, including risks of corruption and risks of gross failures in best value procurement." —Abstract.