RAND Gulf States News

Recent

2015

  • Climate Change Is a National Security Issue, but Not for the Reasons You Think

    Dec 16, 2015

    All U.S. policy decisions can and should be guided by clear evidence. Climate change policy is no exception. The United States should focus on addressing the clearest vulnerabilities, such as securing coastal defense infrastructure.

  • Findings Shared from Study on Economic Impact of Louisiana Land Loss

    Dec 16, 2015

    RAND's Craig Bond and co-author Stephen Barnes of Louisiana State University presented findings from their evaluation of the economic effects of coastal land loss at a meeting of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration, and Conservation.

  • COP 21 Not a Silver Bullet on Climate Change

    Nov 24, 2015

    The Paris climate conference cannot provide the engine that will drive a solution to the world's climate change challenge. Rather, it can best serve as a mediator that will help guide and structure the swirling, bottom-up process of radical change that is the best hope of preserving Earth's climate.

  • Current and Future Flood Risk in Greater New Orleans

    Oct 20, 2015

    Since Hurricane Katrina, efforts to improve coastal defenses have significantly reduced the flood risk for New Orleans, but that risk may increase in the future unless levees are maintained or further upgraded.

  • Adapting to a Hotter World

    Oct 2, 2015

    Because climate change is largely irreversible, mitigation alone won't solve the problem. While mitigation will prevent even greater, future climatic changes, adaptation — efforts to adjust to climate change's effects — will prepare the world for a new set of living conditions, whatever they may be.

  • What Hurricane Katrina Taught Us About Community Resilience

    Sep 8, 2015

    Hurricane Katrina left a path of destruction, death, and suffering in its wake. Its recovery, halting and incomplete as it has been, has taught us valuable lessons about resiliency.

  • Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm

    Aug 27, 2015

    This weekend marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. As the region struggled to cope and rebuild after the storm, RAND experts worked on solutions to the region's long-term challenges.

  • RAND Experts to Speak at KATRINA@10

    Aug 27, 2015

    Anita Chandra and Gary Cecchine will serve as panelists for KATRINA@10, a special event examining the recovery, return, resilience, and enduring vulnerabilities in the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina.

  • Teacher Development Program Shows Early Signs of Success

    Aug 11, 2015

    A program that provides middle-career teachers with two years of professional development, including formal training sessions and meetings with a leadership coach, is showing promising results on student achievement. Also, program participants are mentoring other teachers.

  • Future of Coastal Flooding

    Feb 25, 2015

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

  • New Research Consortium to Tackle Community Resilience in the Gulf Region

    Feb 17, 2015

    A new research group, the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities, will assess and address the public health, social, and economic impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico region. It will focus on determining how communities can build resilience to future disasters.

2014

2013

  • How RAND Supported the Development of Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan

    Dec 12, 2013

    To plan the rebuilding of the Louisiana coastline, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority used a new analytic approach, developed in part by RAND, that incorporates results from state-of-the-art predictive models within a decision tool to formulate and compare alternatives and visualize outcomes and trade-offs for policymakers and stakeholders.

  • Weather Forecasts, and Our Trust in Them, Need to Improve

    Oct 8, 2013

    When scientists predict extreme weather that never materializes, lay people tend to wonder what went wrong. This is a natural tendency that is not tied to a failure of the science, but rather to differences in the way scientists and lay people view predictions about extreme events.

  • Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment Model Helps Estimate Surge-Based Flood Risk

    Sep 18, 2013

    The Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment model (CLARA) facilitates comparisons of current and future flood risk under a variety of protection system configurations in a wide range of environmental, operational, and economic uncertainties.

  • Translating Policy Into Action to Build Community Resilience

    Sep 4, 2013

    The philosophy and motivation surrounding community resilience has strongly resonated with community leaders but there remains a divide between how experts articulate resilience policy and how that policy translates to on-the-ground implementation. Building Community Resilience: An Online Training addresses that tension.

  • Planning Tool Supports Effort to Envision the Future of Coastal Louisiana

    Aug 30, 2013

    A computer-based decision-support tool, called the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Planning Tool, provided technical analysis that supported the development of Louisiana's 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast through CPRA and community-based deliberations.

  • Building Resilient Communities: An Online Training

    Aug 13, 2013

    This easy-to-use, self-guided online training shows organizations and communities how to strengthen their resilience, helping them recover and learn from disaster—both natural and man-made.

  • RAND Experts on Obama's Climate Speech

    Jun 25, 2013

    While President Obama was delivering his speech on climate change at Georgetown University on June 25, some of RAND's energy policy experts were live-tweeting their thoughts on the president's proposals.

  • Planning for Superstorms, Wildfires, and Deep Uncertainty

    Apr 18, 2013

    The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.

  • In Brief: Jordan R. Fischbach on Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast

    Feb 6, 2013

    In this video, Jordan Fischbach discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

2012

  • Options for Financing Louisiana's Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System

    Nov 28, 2012

    Incremental operations and maintenance (O&M) costs for new hurricane protection infrastructure vary considerably across Louisiana's levee districts, but most districts can cover costs for infrastructure within their boundaries. Stakeholders will need to determine an equitable cost allocation for infrastructure that spans district boundaries.

  • What Louisiana Can Teach New York and New Jersey

    Nov 9, 2012

    “Super Storm” Sandy has created a rare moment when New York City and surrounding areas are singularly focused on the infrastructure needed in a changing environment. It is a moment to look south at Louisiana.

  • Planning Tool Supports Louisiana's Coastal Protection Decisionmaking

    Oct 11, 2012

    The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Planning Tool that RAND developed provided technical analysis for Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. A technical description of the tool and associated analyses explains how the tool works.

  • Risk Assessment Model Helps Louisiana Plan for Storm Surges

    Oct 10, 2012

    The Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) model developed by RAND estimates flood depths and damage that occurs as a result of major storms in Louisiana's coastal region and was used to evaluate potential projects for inclusion in the state's 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

  • Has the Gulf Coast Learned Katrina's Lessons in Time for Isaac?

    Aug 28, 2012

    Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, it's clear that New Orleans and other cities along the Gulf Coast are applying what they learned then in preparation for Hurricane Isaac, write Gary Cecchine and Jordan R. Fischbach.

  • Community Foundation Distributes Grants Based on RAND Gulf States Recommendations

    Jul 23, 2012

    The Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier county selected education, health, and poverty as the focus for funding related to children and families. A RAND-developed framework helped them prioritize their $1.3 million investments.

  • Why Aren't Americans Listening to Disaster Preparedness Messages?

    Jun 29, 2012

    Given the recent spate of highly publicized disasters, why don't more Americans pay attention to the advice of public health officials? The messages they are getting are largely based on unverified assumptions, not hard evidence. Equally concerning, these assumptions may inadvertently hinder preparedness.

  • Community HIV Treatment Advocacy Programs May Support Treatment Adherence

    Feb 28, 2012

    Treatment advocacy (TA) programs based in AIDS service organizations and clinics aim to get clients care; advocate for patients; and provide social service referrals. In a non-randomized evaluation,TA clients had higher electronically monitored and self-reported adherence, utilized more social service programs, and had fewer unmet social-service needs.

  • RAND Supports Development of Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan

    Jan 13, 2012

    RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan to guide the state's coastal investments and help its coastal citizens plan for the future. The plan strikes a balance between providing immediate relief to hard hit areas and laying groundwork for large-scale efforts.

2011

  • Resilient Communities: Creating a Community of Practice

    Dec 12, 2011

    In this Resilient Communities podcast, Admiral Thad Allen discusses the critical questions confronting the field of community resilience as well as a new toolkit developed by RAND researchers to support community disaster planning.

  • How Faith-Based Organizations Frame HIV/AIDS Affects How they Convey Health Services

    Nov 30, 2011

    Faith-based organizations may frame HIV as punishment for sin, as a call to compassion, or as an opportunity for transformation. The frame affects the kinds of health services that these organizations provide, as well as the messages they convey about HIV to their congregations.

  • Perceptions of Traditional and Charter Schools in New Orleans

    Sep 30, 2011

    After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans replaced the city's existing school system with a decentralized choice-based system of both charter and district-run schools. An examination of principal, teacher, and parent surveys found many similarities between charter and traditional schools' performance but greater satisfaction among charter school parents with their children's schools, as well as more perceived choices.

  • High Rates of Household Breakups Occurred Following Hurricane Katrina

    May 23, 2011

    The composition of households in New Orleans made the city's families more vulnerable to breakup during the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina. Two-thirds of the city's households at that time saw at least one family member move away, an unusually high number even given the tremendous destruction of the hurricane.

  • Managing the Unexpected

    Apr 19, 2011

    Admiral Thad Allen, then a senior fellow at RAND, presented “Managing the Unexpected” on April 19, 2011, as part of RAND's Issues in Focus public outreach series. Retired Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and National Incident Commander for the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Allen discussed his experiences leading the nation's high-profile response to two national emergencies—the oil spill and Hurricane Katrina.

  • Reducing Future Flood Damage in New Orleans Through Home Elevation and Land Use Changes

    Apr 9, 2011

    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 New Orleans less vulnerable to storm surge

  • Partners in Preparedness: How Governments Can Leverage the Strengths of NGOs in Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

    Mar 14, 2011

    In this March 2011 Congressional Briefing, behavioral scientist Joie Acosta shares action plans and policy recommendations that emerged from a community conference held on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Distinguished panelists include Admiral Thad Allen, now a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation, and Ann Williamson, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

2010

2009 and earlier

Rapid Community Participatory Assessment of Health Care in Post-Storm New Orleans — Dec. 1, 2009

girl getting a medical checkup

A post-Katrina assessment that combined community-based participatory research and rapid assessment procedures identifies health care access challenges, unmet needs, and health system resources in post-storm New Orleans.

Promoting Mental Health Recovery After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — Oct. 1, 2009

family together

Evidence-based mental health response is feasible, but requires targeted resources, increased provider capacity, and advanced planning.

More Support Is Needed to Integrate Nongovernmental Agencies in Human Recovery from Disasters — Sep. 23, 2009

people hugging by trailer

Changing emergency planning rules to make nongovernmental organizations a key component of recovery efforts could get them involved earlier and speed the full recovery of communities after disaster strikes.

RAND Helping Charities Demonstrate Return on Investment — May 8, 2009

Being able to show results is more important than ever for nonprofits seeking government funding. A recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy references RAND's 2005 evaluation of the Nurse-Family Partnership, a nonprofit program that provides nurse home visits to low-income first-time parents and their children. RAND's analysis of the program showed a return on investment of $5.70 for every $1.00 spent. This nonprofit program can demonstrate results, and RAND's analysis made those results clear.

RAND Promising Practices logo

RAND supports nonprofit organizations in another way. It operates the Promising Practices Network, a web-based resource that provides high-quality, evidence-based information about practices and programs that improve the lives of children, youth, and families.

2008

Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey: Where Are Hurricane Katrina Victims Now? — July 16, 2008

displaced New Orleans residents, courtesy of Marvin Nauman/FEMA

The new Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey (DNORS) is designed to examine the current location, well-being, and plans of people who lived in the City of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Long, Unpredictable Delays Found in Louisiana 'The Road Home' Grants to Homeowners — May 27, 2008

Woman by trailer, photo courtesy of FEMA.gov - John Fleck

Louisiana homeowners who sought federally-funded grants through "The Road Home" program for homes damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have had to wait more than eight months on average to receive grants.

2007

RAND Gulf States Policy Institute Awards Grants for Regional Policy Research — December 17, 2007

Map of Gulf States

The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute has awarded $466,748 in grants to support four research projects on topics that will stimulate evidence-based policy direction for the Gulf States region.

An Economic Redevelopment Plan for New Orleans — November 28, 2007

New Orleans

New Orleans should craft a comprehensive economic redevelopment plan that combines public- and private-sector funding with a centralized structure. Total operating costs could run between $2 million and $3 million per year.

Schools Not Sustaining Mental Health Aid to Children Displaced by Hurricane Katrina — October 18, 2007

Depressed student in school hallway

Despite strong initial efforts to support the mental health needs of students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many schools have not been able to fulfill students' mental health needs over the long term.

Lessons Learned from the State and Local Public Health Response to Hurricane Katrina — October 5, 2007

a person writing on paper with a pen

This Working Paper is the collected and synthesized public health lessons learned from the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Partnership with REACH-NOLA Receives $1.2 Million for New Orleans Mental Health Project — October 2, 2007

A woman looking thoughtful

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the RAND Corporation a $1.2 million grant for a two-year project to help develop improved, culturally appropriate mental health services in New Orleans.

Repair and Replacement of Affordable Housing Lags in Mississippi's Post-Katrina Recovery — September 27, 2007

House under construction, photo courtesy of FEMA

While construction permits have been issued for approximately 60 percent of the housing damaged by Hurricane Katrina, repair and replacement of multi-unit housing significantly lags behind repair and replacement of single-family homes in three coastal counties in Mississippi heavily damaged by the hurricane.

RAND Gulf States Policy Institute opens office in New Orleans — August 20, 2007

a flag with the words New Orleans on it

The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute is expanding with the addition of a new office in the central business district of New Orleans.

Wind Insurance Costly and Scarce on Gulf of Mexico Coast — July 18, 2007

Wind storm blowing tree

Wind insurance costs for businesses have increased dramatically while policy coverage has dwindled, and in some cases risk has shifted from insurers to taxpayers. The scarcity and high cost of wind insurance has delayed some business investments in the Gulf States region.

Lessons Learned from the Army's Response to Hurricane Katrina — June 4, 2007

This is a satellite image of the devastaing Hurricane Katrina moving through the Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Army should change the way it plans for domestic emergencies to better support state and local first responders.

RAND Gulf States Policy Institute Awards Scholarships for Gulf Research — May 29, 2007

a map of the Gulf States

The Gulf States Policy Institute has awarded $110,000 in scholarships to six graduate students whose dissertation and research work will stimulate evidence-based policy direction for the region.

Improving recruitment and retention in the New Orleans Police Department — March 30, 2007

Police officer talking on a radio

The RAND Center on Quality Policing released a series of practical recommendations for attracting new recruits and retaining serving officers in the post-Katrina New Orleans Police Department. For example, the report notes that the most immediate boost would come from giving junior officers pay raises they have already earned, but not yet received.

RAND Child Policy Congressional Newsletter highlights RAND Gulf States studies — January 31, 2007

A picture of soime buidlings in downtown New Orleans, French Quarter

Two studies by the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute are highlighted in the quarterly Child Policy Congressional Newsletter. The first looks at how hurricanes Katrina and Rita have affected the region's public education system. The second examines how schools can help students recover from the more long-lasting consequences of the devastation.

RAND Gulf States researcher Lisa Jaycox will be honored with RAND President's Award — January 30, 2007

A picture of Lisa Jaycox, RAND employee

President's Awards recognize individuals whose work exemplifies RAND's two core values of quality and objectivity and who have also recently made exemplary contributions to the RAND community through new business development or fundraising initiatives, outstanding outreach and dissemination efforts, or effective participation in internal activities aimed at improving the efficiency of our research environment. Made possible by the generosity of donors to the RAND Policy Circle, the awards provide staff with research time and support to pursue activities related to career development or exploratory research.

2006

Louisiana Students Displaced by Hurricanes May Suffer Academically — November 30, 2006

Student getting on bus, photo courtesy of FEMA

The approximately 200,000 students displaced from public schools by recent hurricanes represent the largest displacement of students in U.S. history. Many of the students missed weeks of schooling and had to adjust to new environments. Only 45% returned to their original schools.

Governor Barbour Announces Project to Extend Study of Gulf Coast Housing Needs — October 24, 2006

Katrina recovery, Photo courtesy of FEMA

Governor Haley Barbour announced today that the National Association of REALTORS® and the Mississippi Association of REALTORS® have donated $155,000 to enable the RAND Corporation to extend its study of affordable housing needs along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi.

Aiding Children in Long-Term Recovery from Traumatic Events — October 24, 2006

Children in classroom, photo courtesy of FEMA

RAND has released a toolkit that shows how to provide school-based mental health programs for students exposed to violence, natural disasters and other traumatic events. The toolkit will enable schools to help students displaced by natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Advanced Planning Important for Flood Recovery — October 23, 2006

Flooding, photo by Liz Roll courtesy of FEMA

Experience shows that communities recover fastest from major floods when all levels of government and the private sector work together to prepare coordinated response plans ahead of time.

Providing Health Insurance to Low-Income Children Improves Quality of Life — September 7, 2006

Girl with doctor

Children newly enrolled in a public health insurance program in California reported improvements such as doing better in school, feeling better physically, and getting along better with their peers.

Preparedness Exercises for Pandemic Influenza — July 5, 2006

Microbiologist examines pandemic flu virus, photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control/Greg Knobloch

New influenza A virus subtypes, similar to those that caused the three pandemics of the 20th century, are likely to emerge in the 21st century. RAND offers a manual of tabletop exercises that can be used by state and local health agencies to help prepare for such a threat.

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