Disaster Recovery in Coastal Mississippi, USA: Lessons Drawing from Hurricanes Camille and Katrina
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Hurricane Katrina is often thought of as an extreme event that struck New Orleans, Louisiana (USA). Less attention has been placed on the effects of this devastating storm on coastal Mississippi (USA) where more than 70,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by a storm surge that exceeded 30 feet in height at its peak. The State of Mississippi has a long hurricane history, including Hurricane Camille, which made landfall a few miles from where Katrina collided with a number of small and mid-sized communities 36 years later. This chapter will describe the lessons from both of these events, including how they can inform future climate change adaptation efforts in small coastal communities across the United States and elsewhere that may not possess the capacity to effectively deal with disasters, including those created or exacerbated by a changing climate. Hurricanes Camille and Katrina serve to highlight three important themes: (1) large-scale disasters in the U.S. trigger considerable amounts of post-disaster assistance and attention; (2) the manner in which risk is communicated and tied to new policies and reconstruction standards can play a significant role in shaping recovery outcomes, including the adoption of hazard mitigation measures, the stagnation of housing reconstruction and more intensive commercial development; and (3) the creation of state-led recovery organisations can play a key role in coordinating disaster aid across a diffuse network of resource providers.
KeywordsDisaster recovery Risk communication State recovery office Housing resettlement Financial assistance
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