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Investigating Racial Inequalities in Hurricane Katrina Relief by Counting FEMA Trailers

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This paper investigates racial discrepancies in Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans. While published data sources may serve as important evaluation aids, unequal data collection practices may lead to the perception of racial bias. To control for this possibility an independent outcome measure was obtained. While volunteering for home reconstruction in New Orleans, a group of graduate students from University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy conducted a count of FEMA trailers in two comparable and adjacent areas directly affected by the breach of the Industrial Canal. These areas experienced similar degrees of devastation, feature similar housing stock, and possess similar current risk levels. One area was almost entirely African American prior to Hurricane Katrina (located in the Lower 9th Ward) and the other almost entirely white (located in adjacent St. Bernard Parish). The difference in FEMA-trailers per residential or non-residential unit was large and statistically significant (13% in the Lower 9th Ward compared to 63% in St. Bernard Parish, p<.01). A number of hypotheses are developed to account for this discrepancy. Interviews with government officials, FEMA representatives and local residents are conducted to evaluate these hypotheses. While these qualitative assessment features do not allow for quantitative hypothesis testing they lay the ground work for a larger research project investigating the risk of racial discrimination in disaster relief policies.

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new (65), orlean (61), area (53), figur (46), trailer (44), black (43), racial (38), katrina (34), damag (32), 2007 (32), 2006 (31), reconstruct (31), differ (30), count (28), american (28), non (26), percent (26), lower (26), may (25), 9th (25), ward (23),
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Name: Southern Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Craemer, Thomas. "Investigating Racial Inequalities in Hurricane Katrina Relief by Counting FEMA Trailers" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans, LA, Jan 09, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212613_index.html>

APA Citation:

Craemer, T. , 2008-01-09 "Investigating Racial Inequalities in Hurricane Katrina Relief by Counting FEMA Trailers" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans, LA Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p212613_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper investigates racial discrepancies in Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans. While published data sources may serve as important evaluation aids, unequal data collection practices may lead to the perception of racial bias. To control for this possibility an independent outcome measure was obtained. While volunteering for home reconstruction in New Orleans, a group of graduate students from University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy conducted a count of FEMA trailers in two comparable and adjacent areas directly affected by the breach of the Industrial Canal. These areas experienced similar degrees of devastation, feature similar housing stock, and possess similar current risk levels. One area was almost entirely African American prior to Hurricane Katrina (located in the Lower 9th Ward) and the other almost entirely white (located in adjacent St. Bernard Parish). The difference in FEMA-trailers per residential or non-residential unit was large and statistically significant (13% in the Lower 9th Ward compared to 63% in St. Bernard Parish, p<.01). A number of hypotheses are developed to account for this discrepancy. Interviews with government officials, FEMA representatives and local residents are conducted to evaluate these hypotheses. While these qualitative assessment features do not allow for quantitative hypothesis testing they lay the ground work for a larger research project investigating the risk of racial discrimination in disaster relief policies.

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Document Type: application/pdf
Page count: 29
Word count: 5903
Text sample:
Investigating Racial Inequalities in Hurricane Katrina Relief by Counting FEMA Trailers Thomas Craemer University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy 1800 Asylum Avenue West Hartford CT 06117-2697 Telephone: (860) 570-9344 Fax: (860) 570-9114 e-mail: thomas.craemer@uconn.edu January 1 2008 Abstract. This paper investigates racial discrepancies in obtaining Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans. While published data sources may serve as important evaluation aids unequal data collection practices may lead to the perception of racial bias. To control for this possibility
ves/2006_10_03.html Rose L. (2007). USAID Indonesia. Tsunami reconstruction. USAID/Indonesia Program Office June 2007. Source: http://indonesia.usaid.gov/proxy/Document.54.aspx. Tate K. (1993). From protest to politics: The new Black voters in American elections. New York: Russell Sage. Wiley M. (2007). New Orleans Recovery Report Card – January 2007. Center for Social Inclusion. New York NY: Tides Center. Source: http://centerforsocialinclusion.org/PDF/NOReportCard0107_Full.pdf World Bank Group (2007). Key statistics Aceh and Nias rehabilitation and reconstruction. World Bank. Source: http://go.worldbank.org/K64795H580. 29


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The Unheard Voices of Hurricane Katrina: African-American Women of the New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward


 
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