The Evacuation of Older People: The Case of Hurricane Katrina

A paper presented at the annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers, London, 31 August 2006. In this paper, I focus on the process of evacuation and how, in the case of Hurricane Katrina, this casts light on the position of older people in contemporary western society. All the evidence […]

Improvising Disaster in the City of Jazz: Organizational Response to Hurricane Katrina

Tricia Wachtendorf is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Delaware and a member of the core faculty at its Disaster Research Center.  James M. Kendra is assistant professor of public administration at the University of North Texas and the program coordinator of its Emergency Administration and Planning Program.[1. Reflections on organizational improvisation in […]

The Red Pill

Kathleen Tierney is professor in the Department of Sociology and director of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the author of dozens of articles, book chapters, and technical reports on the social aspects of hazards, disasters, and risk, and is author, with Michael K. […]

Toxic Soup Redux: Why Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Matter after Katrina

Julie Sze is an assistant professor in American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her forthcoming book on the culture, politics and history of environmental justice activism in New York City is under contract with MIT Press. It looks at the intersection of planning and health, especially through the prism of asthma, and at […]

Weather Media and Homeland Security: Selling Preparedness in a Volatile World

Marita Sturken teaches in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. She is the author of Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, The AIDS Epidemic and the Politics of Remembering and a forthcoming book entitled Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch and Consumerism in American Culture. Hurricane Katrina exposed social inequities within the United States in stunning relief. […]

There’s No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster

Neil Smith is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the CUNY Graduate Center where he also directs the Center for Place, Culture and Politics. His American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization won the 2004 LA Times Book Prize in biography and his most recent book is The Endgame of Globalization (2005). It is […]

Two Cities, Two Evacuations: Some Thoughts on Moving People Out

Joseph Scanlon is professor emeritus and director of the Emergency Communications Research Unit at Carleton University. In 1980 Professor Scanlon was commissioned by the Canadian Police College to write a book on the role of the police in the Mississauga evacuation. On November 10, 1979, a freight train hauling cars with five different chemicals derailed […]

Catastrophes are Different from Disasters: Some Implications for Crisis Planning and Managing Drawn from Katrina

Dr. E. L. Quarantelli is research professor and founding director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC) at the University of Delaware. He is the author or editor of 27 books and monographs and numerous articles and chapters on disaster topics. Hurricane Katrina has reinforced the view of some researchers that the scale of any collective […]

Using Organizations: the Case of FEMA

Charles Perrow is professor emeritus of sociology at Yale University. His current interests are in managing highly interactive, tightly-coupled-systems (including hospitals, nuclear plants, chemical plants, power grids, aviation, the space program, and intelligent transportation systems). These interests grew out of his work on “normal accidents,” with its emphasis upon organizational design and systems theory. An […]

Disasters and Forced Migration in the 21st Century

Anthony Oliver-Smith is professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. He has done anthropological research and consultation on issues relating to disasters and involuntary resettlement in Peru, Honduras, India, Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, Japan, and the United States since the 1970s. He is a member of the editorial boards of Environmental Disasters and Desastres y […]