Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Andrew Morris


FEMA, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida, climate justice, environmental justice, Post-Katrina Act, hurricane, Louisiana


When Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005, it revealed disparities in the way that recovery efforts are handled after storms. For example, it demonstrated flaws in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s attempt to provide housing for disaster survivors. The agency failed to adequately accommodate vulnerable populations, including communities of color, low-income individuals, the elderly, and people with disabilities, in its housing recovery process. Since then, efforts have been made to reform the agency and ensure that all individuals, regardless of race, income, education or disability level, are accommodated by FEMA. However, when Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana exactly 16 years later in 2021, many of the same problems continued to be seen. As such, this thesis seeks to compare FEMA housing recovery efforts after both storms, and analyze the efforts made by the agency to address its inequities after Katrina. This will be done through a literary review of Katrina, followed by an examination of legislation and congressional hearing testimonies to analyze the attempts made to reform the agency after Katrina and subsequent storms. Then, Hurricane Ida’s aftermath will be examined by looking at news articles and interviews with disaster recovery workers to gauge the extent to which FEMA’s reforms successfully addressed its recovery challenges. Finally, the thesis will consider policy recommendations. This analysis will demonstrate that the agency is still struggling to accommodate vulnerable populations in their disaster housing recovery efforts, largely because of their failure to account for systemic issues that make individuals more likely to face obstacles in the recovery process.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.