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Hurricane Recovery Research Collaborative

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Research Publications and Presentations

1. Research Reports
2. Academic Articles
3. Presentations at Scientific Conferences
4. Timeline of Katrina-Related Events in Austin/Travis County

1. Research Reports

Assessment of Services, Costs, and Outcomes for Katrina Evacuees Project (pdf)
by Lein, L., Angel, R., Beausoleil, J., Bell, H., Connell, C., Hill, T., (2006). Submitted to: The City of Austin (COA) Health and Human Services Department and the Entrepreneurs Foundation. Submitted by: the Center for Social Work Research, The University of Texas at Austin.

Lessons from Katrina evacuees: A digest of research by the Center for Social Work Research for the City of Austin and the Entrepreneurs Foundation (pdf)
by Lein, L., Beausoleil, J., Angel, R., and Bell, H.

Katrina Aid Today Mid-term Evaluation Project
by Lein, L., Bell, H., Beausoleil, J., Montez, J. K., and Borah, E. V.

    Full Report (pdf)
    Summary of Report (pdf)

2. Academic Articles

Greene, R. (2007). Reflections on Hurricane Katrina by older adults. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 16(4).

Pyles, L., Lein, L., & Kulkarni, S. (2008). Economic survival strategies and food insecurity: The case of Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans. Journal of Social Service Research, 34(3), 43-53.

Abstract: This article reports on a study of 67 Hurricane Katrina survivors who evacuated to one Texas community.  The authors examine the economic survival strategies employed by Katrina evacuees to feed their families during the approximately one week time frame beginning the day before the storm and ending when they were ultimately evacuated from New Orleans.  An analysis of their strategies and actions provides insight both into the nature of households and sharing networks under the pressure of this disaster and the shortages that ensue when federal and state systems cannot meet basic needs beyond the resources of the local community.

Kulkarni, S., Bell, H., Beausoleil, J., Lein, L., Angel, R., Mason, J. (under review). When the floods of compassion are not enough:  A nation’s and a city’s response to the evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 78(4), 399-425.

Abstract: Hurricane Katrina exposed serious deficiencies in the social support safety net at the federal, state, and local level. This paper explores the impacts of the disrupted safety net through participant observation and interviews with service providers and evacuees resettled in one southern city. These stories illustrate how vulnerable low-income groups struggle to cope with disaster within the context of inadequate larger support systems and the legacy of racism. The data also illustrate the limits of the local resources and response, given the years of retrenchment and under-funding and increasing dependence on non-governmental sources of support. We explore some of the implications of this trend for evacuees’ long-term recovery and social work intervention.

Bell, H. (2008). Case management with displaced survivors of hurricane Katrina: A case study of one host community. Journal of Social Service Research, 34(3), 43-53.

Abstract: Case management is a staple of post-disaster recovery, but there is limited research on this topic. Utilizing in-depth interviews, observations, and document analysis, this longitudinal case study examined case management with displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors in one host community. Case managers identified, assessed, planned, linked, monitored, and advocated for survivors. They described engaging survivors and understanding their backgrounds and experiences as challenging. Lack of jobs, transportation, and affordable housing, coupled with survivors’ trauma and pre-existing needs, presented barriers to long-term recovery. Despite these difficulties, case managers felt positively about their efforts and identified coordination as critical to success.

3. Presentations at Scientific Conferences

Reid, Megan. (2007) "Survivors' perceptions of federal, non-governmental, and faith-based responses to Hurricane Katrina." The National Poverty Center's The Impact of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations on the Lives of Low Income Families Conference, Washington, D.C.

Bell, H. and Lein, L. (2007). "Case management with displaced survivors of Hurricane Katrina: A case study of one host community." The Society for the Anthropology of North America's Unnatural Disasters Conference. University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA.

Abstract: Hurricane Katrina displaced many poor African-American residents of the gulf coast from life-long communities of concentrated and persistent poverty. Host communities across the South where large numbers of Katrina evacuees were dispersed are now faced with helping to meet these families’ needs. However, trends towards devolution and privatization over the last 30 years, as well as the South’s historic underinvestment in social programs, limit these communities’ ability to provide support for hurricane survivors. The impact of limited federal involvement in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has been widely examined, but its impact on host communities who have become responsible for hundreds of thousands of low-income survivors over the long term deserves further exploration.


Beausoleil, J. and Reid, M. (2007). "Displaced and 'FEMAtized': Obstacles and strategies of Katrina survivors in Austin in their efforts to secure assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)." The Society for the Anthropology of North America's Unnatural Disasters Conference. University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA.

Abstract: The failures of various levels of government in planning, mitigating, and assisting with recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have been witnessed nationwide.  However, the experiences of Katrina survivors to obtain assistance and stabilize their lives in the months following the hurricane remain less visible. This paper focuses on the role of FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the impacts of this federal agency's policies and practices on low-income displaced families from New Orleans.

Bruinsma, B. and Kulkarni, S. (2007). "Providing shelter from the storm: The ongoing parenting challenges of Katrina evacuees." The Society for the Anthropology of North America's Unnatural Disasters Conference. University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA.

Abstract: Focusing on three detailed case examples to illustrate how parents care for their children under extreme circumstances and reflect on how their choices are shaped by situation, culture, class, and race/ethnicity, we present a thematic analysis of respondents' current life situations and retrospective accounts produced recurrent narrative themes of survival, supervision, adultification of children and adolescents, and child-keeping strategies among families. Because respondents' family structures varied widely, our definition of parenting extends beyond tending to one's biological children to include caretaking of related and non-related youth. However, in several cases large families found themselves in the position of balancing competing needs between family members.

Pyles, L., Kulkarni, S., Lein, L.
(2007). The Society for the Anthropology of North America's Unnatural Disasters Conference. University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA.

Food insecurity and economic survival strategies: The case of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Abstract: Grounded in the perspective that food insecurity is a human rights violation, the purpose of this research was to determine what economic survival strategies were employed by Katrina evacuees during the approximately one week time frame a day before the storm and when they ultimately evacuated from New Orleans. Several themes related to food insecurity emerged.

4. Timeline of Katrina-Related Events in Austin/Travis County (pdf)
Compiled by Courtney FitzGerald, M.S.S.W. and Stephanie Gajewski, M.S.W., and Holly Bell, Ph.D.

Last Modified: February 5, 2009