This report analyzes key policy decisions, as well as actions and inaction under health, safety, and environmental laws, that could have better protected New Orleans from the effects of Katrina before the hurricane and those that could have improved the emergency response in its wake. In the area of public health, safety, and the environment, the paper explores the implementation of wetlands law and policy, bad decisions regarding the construction and maintenance of the levee system designed to protect New Orleans, pollution prevention and clean-up laws, and energy policy. In the area of emergency response, it reviews policy decisions related to evacuation, shelter, rescue, and relocation. It concludes by examining the overriding issue of how and why poor policy-making and short-sighted planning guaranteed that Katrina visited disproportionate suffering on New Orleanians who were poor and African-American.
Rechtschaffen, Clifford, "An Unnatural Disaster: The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina" (2005). Publications. 45.