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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 Politics


Local and state governments have been heavily criticized for their preparations for and response to Hurricane Katrina. Speculation on whether New Orleans could have been spared significant amounts of damage and fatalities have led to criticism of local leaders such as Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, as well as President George Bush, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Many argue that city’s leaders were not transparent enough in their warnings leading up to the hurricane, and that there were few to no efforts to evacuate the city’s most vulnerable populations. Mayor Ray Nagin has faced backlash for his refusal to declare a mandatory evacuation order, despite having knowledge that major flooding was very likely to occur. This led to many residents seeking shelter in the Superdome, where conditions grew dangerous. Similarly, Governor Kathleen Blanco came under fire for her insistence that the state was well prepared leading up to the storm.

President Bush’s proposition to cut funding for the US Army Corps of Engineers in the years leading up to Katrina led many to question the attention paid to the city’s flood defense systems. The government also faced scrutiny regarding its policy of contracting wetlands to private oil companies. Local and federal environmental policies were reconsidered as public attention focused on the effects of climate change, the potential for similar large-scale disasters, and the damage that these kinds of storms inflict upon coastal wetlands. 

Regions impacted by Hurricane Katrina received relief from other U.S. state governments, the federal government, and many foreign governments. Over 60,000 members of the military were deployed to assist in relief efforts along the Gulf Coast. However, federal agencies remained slow in their response. Federally-run FEMA faced allegations of incompetence, neglect, misallocation of resources, and delayed action in the wake of the storm. Michael D. Brown, FEMA’s Principal Federal Official, resigned 18 days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Many have asserted that the neglect exhibited by the local and federal governments leading up to and immediately following the storm make Hurricane Katrina an “unnatural disaster.” 

Key Subject Headings

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

Child disaster victims -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disasters -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Floods -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Economic aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Environmental aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- History.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Periodicals.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Press coverage.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social conditions.

Most specific:
Coastal engineering -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Coastal zone management -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disaster relief -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disaster victims -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Emergency management -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Political aspects.
Hurricane protection -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Rescue Work -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
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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