After the Storm: Finding Success in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Aug 29, 2006
11:00am2:30pm
B-339 Rayburn House Office Building

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Nearly a year has passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the United States.  And while efforts to rebuild are well underway in many of the Gulf Coast communities devastated by the storm, the appalling accounts of human suffering in the aftermath of the hurricane have lingered in the minds of Americans.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has spent the last year learning from the Gulf Coast communities rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  With focused efforts in Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes in Louisiana and Harrison and Hancock Counties in Mississippi, the Mercatus Center is examining how different social, legal, political, and economic institutions affected different communities before, during, and after the hurricane. 

To share its preliminary findings and discuss the real world implications of its research, the Mercatus Center will host a workshop held exclusively for policymakers.  The workshop will address the role that for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments are playing in the rebuilding process and attempt to determine where - and why - each sector has its greatest successes.  In addition, the workshop will examine how each of these sectors interact, where they build synergies, and where they work at cross purposes.   Workshop participants will work with Mercatus Center scholars and guests to try and answer the following questions:

  • What policy-related lessons can be taken away from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina?  How can policymakers prepare for future disasters?
  • How have communities in the Gulf Coast responded in the months following Katrina?  How have communities prepared for this hurricane season?
  • How can the strengths of for-profit, non-profit, and public sectors be incorporated to allow better response to disasters - natural or manmade - in the future?  

Hurricane Katrina was neither the first nor the last major disaster to hit the United States.  In the midst of this hurricane season, it is imperative that policymakers understand which institutions and policies succeeded and those that failed.  By better understanding the answer to this question, we can keep our next disaster from becoming a tragedy.

Hurricane Katrina was neither the first nor the last major disaster to hit the United States.  In the midst of this hurricane season, it is imperative that policymakers understand which institutions and policies succeeded and those that failed.  By better understanding the answer to this question, we can keep our next disaster from becoming a tragedy.