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Save the Children;
In response to concerted advocacy by Save the Children and many child advocacy groups, President George W. Bush and Congress created the National Commission on Children and Disasters to assess the gaps in federal planning that put children at risk, and to formulate recommendations that could guide a national movement to close those gaps and help states better protect our children. The commission's comprehensive assessment found that "children were more often an afterthought than a priority" across 11 functional areas of U.S. disaster planning. In 2010, the commission issued its final report, with 81 recommendations and sub-recommendations aimed at ensuring children's unique needs are accounted for in U.S. disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Now, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children has commissioned research to determine progress made on these recommendations. While the federal government has made progress in addressing the commission's recommendations, our research indicates that nearly four in five of the recommendations have not been fully met.
Earth Policy Institute;
Those of us who track the effects of global warming had assumed that the first large flow of climate refugees would likely be in the South Pacific with the abandonment of Tuvalu or other low-lying islands. We were wrong. The first massive movement of climate refugees has been that of people away from the Gulf Coast of the United States. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in late August 2005, forced a million people from New Orleans and the small towns on the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts to move inland either within state or to neighboring states, such as Texas and Arkansas. Although nearly all planned to return, many have not. Unlike in previous cases, when residents typically left areas threatened by hurricanes and returned when authorities declared it was safe to do so, many of these evacuees are finding new homes. In this respect, the U.S. hurricane season of 2005 was different. Record-high temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico surface waters helped make Hurricane Katrina the most financially destructive hurricane ever to make landfall anywhere. In some Mississippi Gulf Coast towns, Katrina's powerful 28-foot-high storm surge (8.5 meters) did not leave a single structure standing. There was nothing for evacuees to return to. The destruction of housing and infrastructure in St. Bernard Parish, a low-lying 40-mile-long peninsula (64 kilometers) extending southeast from New Orleans, rendered most of it uninhabitable. The Katrina storm surge that raised the water level in Lake Pontchartrain so high that it breached the levees and flooded New Orleans left much of the city unfit to live in. Even today, a year later, large parts of the city are without basic infrastructure services such as water, power, sewage disposal, garbage collection, and telecommunications. Interestingly, the country to suffer the most damage from a hurricane is also primarily responsible for global warming. Many evacuees were able to return in a matter of days, but many more were not. New Orleans' population before Katrina struck was 463,000. Claritas, a private demographic data-gathering and analysis firm, reported that after the hurricane New Orleans' population shrank to 93,000. By January 2006, it had recovered to 174,000. By July 2006, the city still had only 214,000 residents, less than half of its pre-Katrina population. Three Louisiana coastal parishes (counties) also registered substantial population declines. The population of St. Bernard Parish plummeted from 66,000 residents to 15,000 in July 2006. South of New Orleans, the population of Plaquemines Parish declined from 29,000 to 20,000. Densely populated Jefferson Parish, also bordering New Orleans on the south, dropped from 453,000 to 411,000, a loss of 42,000. Mississippi's three coastal counties each lost population. The July tabulation showed Hancock County had lost 8,000 residents. Harrison County, which includes the town of Gulfport, lost 12,000, and Jackson County 4,000. (See data at http://www.earthpolicy.org/Updates/2006/Update57_data.htm)
This report documents the experiences and insights of leading funders and provides the most comprehensive record available of the resources that institutional donors provided in response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes.The report includes statistical data as well as an analysis of interviews with 10 of the top 25 independent foundations that responded to the disaster.
Interfaith Worker Justice;
A report by Interfaith Worker Justice and Good Jobs First as part of the Gulf Coast Commission on Reconstruction Equity.
The Gulf Coast Commission on Reconstruction Equity has brought together both local and national people of faith, contracting specialists, academics, community and labor advocates to:
Evaluate the Gulf Coast cleanup and rebuilding contracts and promote ethical contracting standards and incentive packages, including hiring local and minority contractors.Promote strong labor standards, including enforcing prevailing wages, overtime,and health and safety laws.Support public policy options to expedite job training and apprenticeships, firstsource hiring and housing for people displaced and disenfranchised by Hurricanes
Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
Interfaith Worker Justice;
The Report Card from the Good Work and Fair Contracts: Making Gulf Coast Reconstruction Work for Local Residents and Businesses
From research conducted by Interfaith Worker Justice and Good Jobs
First as part of the Gulf Coast Commission on Reconstruction Equity, February 28, 2006.
Interfaith Worker Justice;
When Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans in August of 2005 and thousands were left stranded in the city, the winds exposed New Orleans' twin plagues of poverty and racism.
New Orleans is the face of preventable exploitation. As this report illustrates, the DOL has been ill-equipped to deal with the scale and spread of employer lawlessness that has overtaken the Gulf Coast. Therefore, IWJ is creating the Interfaith Worker Justice Center of New Orleans (IWJ-NOLA) with the mission to respect work, rebuild community and restore hope. In tandem with the religious community and allies from organized labor, IWJ calls on the DOL to collaborate with IWJ-NOLA to empower workers, promote fair and legal labor practices, and work for good jobs for all workers, including those who have not been able to return to their city.
Earth Policy Institute;
The United States consumes nearly 21 million barrels of petroleum per day (7.5 billion barrels per year), one fourth the world total.
Of the crude oil consumed in the U.S., 66 percent is imported.
The U.S. is on pace to spend over $500 billion on petroleum imports in 2008.
U.S. oil production currently occurs onshore in the lower 48 states (2.9 million barrels per day (mbd)), offshore (1.4 mbd, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico), and in Alaska (0.7 mbd).
Rural Sociological Society;
This brief shows how the characteristics of rural Gulf Coast families place them at higher risks during natural disasters and make them far less able to recover from such calamities. Although few realize it, nonmetro residents represented the majority (55%) of the population affected by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. They also constituted 17% of the people living in Alabama's disaster-stricken area, and about 12% of the affected population in Louisiana. These are not inconsequential numbers; they represent thousands of inhabitants living in small communities dotting the tri-state region. This Rural Realities brief draws much needed attention to nonmetro areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and outlines the key features of the rural people and places that have been impacted by this major disaster. Most important, it offers a series of policy recommendations that can assist in rebuilding the region's nonmetro counties and parishes. The hope is that these policy ideas can offer a meaningful set of strategies for lessening the future vulnerability of rural areas within and outside this region of the country. This brief is from Rural Realities; Volume 1, Issue 2. Rural Realities is published by the Rural Sociological Society. It is a peer-reviewed, web-based series that is published four times a year. Each issue is devoted to a single topic.
Describes milestones in the reconstruction planning process in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the resulting acceleration of federal funds distribution. Reviews the foundation's efforts to create a unified plan with broad community input.
This report, the third derived from research out of the National Faith-Based Initiative (NFBI), examines how faith-based organizations designed and implemented mentoring programs for high-risk youth. Focusing on four NFBI sites (in the Bronx and Brooklyn, NY; Baton Rouge, LA; and Philadelphia, PA), the report takes up three key questions: How were the best practices of community-based mentoring programs adapted to address the specific needs of faith-based mentors and high-risk youth? How did the organizations draw on the faith community to recruit volunteers, and who came forward? And finally, how successful were the mentoring relationshipshow long did they last and what potential did they show?
Plain Talk is a community change initiative that attempts to help sexually active youth protect themselves from pregnancy and disease. Plain Talk neighborhoods mobilize their residents and enlist agencies that would increase access to and support the effective use of contraception. The report discusses how residents were involved in developing and implementing community outreach efforts to change sexual attitudes and practices of adults, teenagers and service providers; the political and moral issues that arose in crafting the Plain Talk message; and the sites' efforts to improve reproductive health care services for adolescents.
The Annie E. Casey Foundations Plain Talk initiative seeks to address the problems of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among a communitys youth by organizing and mobilizing community residents to change the attitudes and practices of the community and service providers. The Plain Talk approach is built from the belief in community empowerment and the use of consensus-building to make decisions and negotiate with social service institutions. This report documents the experiences of the six sites -- Atlanta, Hartford, Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle -- during their planning year of the initiative.