UNT experts can discuss Tropical Storm Gustav and Hurricane Katrina's 3rd anniversary

Thursday, August 28, 2008

DENTON (UNT), Texas --  Three years ago tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 29) Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  The massive hurricane was responsible for 1,323 deaths and $250 billion in economic loss.  Three years later, the area is slowly returning to its pre-Katrina vigor, but the threat of another storm has continued to haunt the area.

Tropical Storm Gustav passed over Haiti late Tuesday, and is now expected to make its way further in to the Gulf of Mexico.  The storm is expected to strengthen in the open waters and make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast early next week.  It is too early for meteorologists to determine a precise landfall location, but preliminary models suggest that the storm may make landfall along the coast of Louisiana.   

The experts listed are available to discuss the Gulf Coast's recovery from Hurricane Katrina, as well as the potential impact of a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, like Gustav is expected to become, hitting the Katrina devastated Gulf Coast.

Long-term recovery of communities from hurricanes, response to hurricane warnings, mobile home residents and hurricanes:

Dr. Nicole Dash, UNT associate professor of sociology, says the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes shows why those who will be most vulnerable if threatened by a hurricane -- the elderly and the poor -- need to know what resources will be available from the local government.

"We have yet to find out whether the public and governmental agencies have learned the lessons of hurricanes Katrina and Rita," she says.

Dash has analyzed property tax data and census data for Miami-Dade County from 1990 to 2000 to study the recovery of communities impacted by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. She is a Florida native who was a graduate student at Florida International University in Miami when Hurricane Andrew hit. She discovered that areas with large minority populations recovered slower than areas with predominantly Caucasian populations, and African-American areas fared far worse than Hispanic areas, which were predominantly Cuban. She has published a book chapter of some of her findings in "Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of Disasters," published by FIU's Laboratory for Social and Behavioral Research.

Dash has also done extensive research on the aftermath of Katrina.  She was the featured guest on a 2006 on KERA-FM program in Dallas that recognized the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

This is the best way to reach Dr. Dash over the holiday weekend.  Her e-mail messages are forwarded to her phone, so if you send her your contact information she will respond as soon as possible.

FEMA, emergency management and recovery efforts:

Mr. Eliot Jennings is an instructor in the Emergency Administration and Planning degree program, which is part of UNT's nationally recognized Department of Public Administration.  He was previously the operations and planning coordinator for Galveston County's Office of Emergency Management for four years.  He also served as the emergency management coordinator for the City of Galveston and later for Galveston County.  Jennings was involved in preparing for and responding to five federal disaster declarations during his time in Galveston. He teaches introductory emergency management classes as well as response and recovery courses.  He can discuss the steps that the Gulf Coast should take to prepare for a storm, as well as the appropriate recovery and response steps. 

  • Office phone:  940-369-7844
  • Cell phone:  940-395-7167
  • E-mail:  Jennings@unt.edu

Impact of Katrina and Rita on the Gulf Coast, potential economic impact of Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast:

Dr. Bernard Weinstein, director of UNT's Center for Economic Development and Research, can discuss the economic recovery of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, as well as the potential economic impact of Hurricane Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast.  Weinstein delivered a presentation titled "The Economic Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: An Assessment After One Year" to the Dallas Association for Business Economics in November 2006.  In the presentation, Weinstein said that Katrina caused $250 billion in total economic loss.  Weinstein can discuss the impact of Katrina, and the potential impact of Gustav, on agriculture, energy, hospitality, shipping and logistics and small businesses. 

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108