Sunday, August 29, 2010

How do people respond to disasters?

You can sit and wait for the Government to send help, of course, which in any case can provide some opportunities for political demagoguery. Or you can do what you can to help yourself. And you don't need to be a survivalist to choose the latter course.

On this 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, check out the Gulf Coast Recovery Project at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, started in the immediate aftermath of the disaster:
In 2005, Mercatus launched a five-year project to follow the long-term redevelopment of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. By combining verbal interviews with people rebuilding the Gulf Coast and quantitative and qualitative data, the Gulf Coast Recovery Project seeks to better understand the array of complex issues facing communities recovering from disaster and the roles that the public, commercial, and non-profit sectors play in rebuilding communities affected by large scale catastrophes.
There is now a great wealth of information on the site -- working papers, talks, videos, forums, media files, etc. -- examining the question in the title of this post, and finding some interesting answers.

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