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Louisiana Hurricanes

Images of Hurricanes from left to right, Audrey, Betsy, Camille, Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. Images used are in public domain, pulled from Wikipedia Commons.

Hurricane Katrina Impact on Communities


Of the 1.5 million Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama residents that evacuated for Hurricane Katrina, approximately 40% did not return. Thousands were left homeless, and the population of New Orleans was reduced by half. An estimated 95,000 New Orleans residents lost their jobs in the 10 months following the hurricane, and hundreds of thousands of homes were flooded. The majority of those who lost their homes or who were otherwise displaced were African Americans living in the city’s lower-income areas. Large percentages of children and adults displaced by Hurricane Katrina experienced mental health issues as a direct result, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. These numbers are higher among more vulnerable populations. 

As reconstruction began after the storm, many residents were priced out of their neighborhoods. Impacted areas were rapidly gentrified, and much of the city’s growth in the years following Katrina was not a result of original residents returning, but of new people moving in. A general increase in home values, poverty deconcentration efforts, and the demolition of four prominent public housing projects made it difficult for many of the most affected to find housing in the city. Many residents were put up in one of FEMA’s 45,000 temporary housing units after the storm, a project that lasted until 2012. These trailers were found to contain dangerous amounts of formaldehyde gas, and posed health risks to residents. Investigations into the reasons behind the storm’s disproportionately devastating effects on lower-income African American residents reveal the extent of Hurricane Katrina’s social impact. 

Key Subject Headings

Listed below are some recommended subject headings for searching for Hurricane Katrina's impact on social life. Full steps on how to use these subject terms can be found on this LibGuide's homepage.

Disasters -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Emergency management -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Floods -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Hurricane protection -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Rescue Work -- Louisiana -- New Orleans

Most specific:
Child disaster victims -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disaster relief -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disaster victims -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina, 2005, in art.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Economic aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- History.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Fiction.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Periodicals.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Personal narratives.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Poetry.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Political aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Press coverage.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social conditions.
Urban renewal -- Louisiana -- New Orleans

Selected Collections

A few of the collections held by LSU Libraries Special Collections are listed below. Additional collections may be found utilizing the subject headings listed in the sections above. 

Books and other published materials

Additional Resources

Additional resources on Hurricane Katrina may be located at the following links.

Hurricane Images Banner information

Images in the banner from left to right are numbered below 1 to 8.

1. Hurricane Audrey  2. Hurricane Betsy  3. Hurricane Camille  4. Hurricane Andrew  
5. Hurricane Katrina  6. Hurricane Rita  7. Hurricane Gustav  8. Hurricane Ike

Images 1-4 are in the public domain because they contain materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made as part of an employee's official duties. 
Images 5-8 are in the public domain in the United States because they were solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See NASA copyright policy page.)

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