Caught in the Path of Katrina

As the Gulf Coast bears the brunt of Hurricane Ida, we look back at the long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina. With survivors still experiencing financial and emotional repercussions from 2005, how can we better protect residents today?

Caught in the Path of Katrina: A Survey of the Hurricane’s Human Effects

Picou, J. Steven. by J. Steven Picou and Keith Nicholls Texas, 2019
113p index, 9781477319727 $75.00, 9781477319734 $24.95, 9781477319741

Caught in the Path of Katrina: A Survey of the Hurricane's Human Effects book cover. Teal blue wash over photograph of residents standing in floodwaters.

This book by Picou and Nicholls (both, Univ. of South Alabama) reports results from a 2008 large-scale survey (2,548 respondents; 110 questions) conducted in two Mississippi counties and five Louisiana parishes. The study sought to discover the experiences of survivors, from their evacuation experience, to family separation, to residential damage, displacement, and recovery. Caught in the Path of Katrina reminds its readers of the broad and long-term effects of the storm, which include being displaced for years, living in FEMA trailers, facing delays in insurance compensation, and suffering uncertainty with regard to state recovery programs. In sum, this book provides a glimpse into the physical, environmental, mental, and emotional toll that Hurricane Katrina took on residents of the Gulf states. Toxic flood waters, mold-covered homes, PTSD, and loss of family, community, and personal belongings created a gumbo of negative stressors that survivors lived with for years after the storm made landfall, and that still affect them today. Even more than a decade after the storm, this book provides a high-level yet easy-to-read overview of the human experience with the results of climate change, an experience that we are destined to see again.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
D. M. Braquet, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Environmental Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Sociology
Choice Issue: Jul 2020

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