“Culture, Economics and Recovery from Natural Disaster“
Studies in Emergent Order, Vol. 4 (2011)
Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and resulted in the lengthy evacuation of New Orleans and other communities in Louisiana and Mississippi. Katrina represents a great challenge in recovery from natural disasters, and the recovery process in New Orleans illustrates the role of the private and public sectors in wealth creation generally. The lengthy evacuation and the poor health of the local economy pre-Katrina create the prospect of a coordination failure in return and recovery long feared by disaster researchers. Emily Chamlee-Wright‟s study of recovery from Katrina represents a major contribution to our understanding of recovery. Many communities of modest economic means in New Orleans possess significant social capital and voluntary organizations capable of coordinating expectations of return, while public sector efforts to plan the recovery appear to have caused more harm than help.