Office of Congressional Relations
Hurricane Isaac flooding St. John the Baptist Parish, photo by Sgt. Rashawn D. Price/Louisiana Army National Guard

Better Preparedness
for Natural Disasters

RAND Gulf States Email Alert

Hurricane Isaac made landfall just before September, which is National Disaster Preparedness month. Although Isaac was a weaker Category 1 Hurricane, many areas of the Gulf Coast evacuated the population, and federal, state, and local governments are responding to the flood damage. But are there areas for improvement?

The RAND Corporation and its RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, based in New Orleans, have research and experts available to assist you in preparing legislation related to disaster preparedness. Topics include the continuing efforts to respond to Hurricane Isaac and other natural disasters, how multiple disasters complicate the recovery process, and how residents of the region cope with continuing exposure to weather-related risks.

Storm surge

Jordan Fischbach, associate policy researcher at RAND. Topics: how nonstructural measures--such as incentives for home elevation, incentives for relocation to lower-risk areas, and restrictions on the use of floodplain land--can make cities like New Orleans less vulnerable to flooding.

Hurricane protection efforts

Gary Cecchine, director of research, RAND Gulf States. Topics: Emergency response and planning for natural and man-made disasters.

David Groves, policy researcher at RAND. Topics: Developing comprehensive long-term strategies for hurricane flood risk reduction and coastal landscape sustainability under uncertainty; climate adaptation planning in coastal regions and for water resources agencies.

Debra Knopman, director of RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment. Topics: Water resources development and management, coastal protection and restoration; infrastructure investments; energy and environment.

Community resilience

Joie Acosta, behavioral scientist at RAND. Topics: The need for comprehensive disaster case-management planning; how community resilience factors into national health security; the role of nongovernmental agencies in disaster resilience.

Anita Chandra, behavioral scientist at RAND. Topics: Community resilience, why an "all-hazards" approach to disaster preparedness planning and effective local planning is critical; the role of nongovernmental organizations in helping people recover from disasters over the long-term; why it takes people so long to fully recover from a natural disaster.

Catastrophic insurance issues

Lloyd Dixon, senior economist at RAND. Topics: the need for wind and flood insurance reform; how federal flood insurance coverage affects development in areas at risk for flooding.

Mental health issues

Lisa Jaycox, senior behavioral scientist at RAND. Topics: Mental health impact of disasters, particularly among youth, and interventions that can alleviate disaster-related distress among youth and adults.

Policy spotlights

web icon RAND Work Provides Insight Into Federal Disaster Recovery Reforms
web icon RAND Supports Development of Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan
web icon RAND Provides Insight into National Flood Insurance Reform Proposals

Please don't hesitate to contact me at (703) 413-1100, ext. 5423 or if you want additional information from RAND, would like to speak to a researcher, or have any questions.


Laura Selway
Legislative Analyst
RAND Corporation
(703) 413-1100 x5423

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