Social Effects of Hurricane Katrina - Displacement


Evacuated citizens have spread to 50 states and many major cities, mostly Houston. Due to this, many people were separated from their family members, including young children separated from their parents and pets. A coordinated effort by the American Red Cross, Microsoft, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, combined many diverse databases and has been very effective in reconnecting children with their parents. An effort to catalog, identify, or even to collect remains of the dead is still ongoing as of April, 2006, leaving those who do not know the whereabouts of loved ones to suffer uncertainty and anxiety. Over time both the reconnection and recovery operations have improved, but it will be much time before the majority of bodies are retrieved and people reunited.

While many existing organizations have worked to help those displaced, and some new groups and special efforts have been initiated, the survivors of Hurricane Katrina are still largely unorganized. Survivors have only recently begun to form associations for their own interests in the recovery effort. The largest of these associations is the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association, led by members of New Orleans Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). The group has protested Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policies in both Houston, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and claims over 2,000 members.

Many evacuees from New Orleans, facing months without income, severely damaged or destroyed homes, and little in the way of recoverable possessions have begun expressing desires to permanently resettle elsewhere. Possible locations include the areas to which they were evacuated, or with friends or family in other states. This would lead to potentially large demographic effects not only on New Orleans but on the entire country, rivaled only by the Great Migration of African Americans in the first half of the 20th century, and the mass migration of the 1930s as a result of the likely to endure for decades as former citizens of New Orleans resettle in other areas and yet retain strong cultural ties.

Studies have shown that the concentration of poverty is self-perpetuating, thus some postulate that the hurricane may have a small positive impact on future poverty levels.

Not only were evacuees displaced, but also some National Guard soldiers returning home for their deployment to Iraq were displaced because they were unable to find homes upon their arrival.

Read more about this topic:  Social Effects Of Hurricane Katrina

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