RAND Gulf States Blogs and Commentaries

  • Is Suicide Preventable? Insights from Research

    May 8, 2017

    Conventional wisdom about suicide prevention suggests that one just needs to know what warning signs to look for. But that's not the case.

  • Why Rents Have Gone Through the Roof in New Orleans and Across the Nation

    Aug 2, 2016

    The rental affordability crisis was caused by declining incomes since 2000, the slowing of new construction, households getting smaller, and the seven million foreclosures during the recession. It is a national problem in need of a national solution.

  • Rather Than Fearing 'Cyber 9/11,' Prepare for 'Cyber Katrina'

    Mar 30, 2016

    In 2005, Hurricane Katrina represented a major test of the nation's post-9/11 disaster-response systems. Since that time, the United States has sought to improve those systems, but much more needs to be done in order to properly address the threat of a large-scale cyber attack.

  • Why Engineers Need to Be Thinking About Climate Change

    Feb 22, 2016

    As sea levels rise and extreme weather events become more common, evacuation routes in coastal areas will become more important. Transportation engineers need to be more proactive as they try to anticipate damage to pavement, bridges, and culverts.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?

    Jun 30, 2010

    In his inaugural address, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu clearly accepted his dual challenge: rebuild a city that welcomes its still-displaced residents, and make long-needed changes to attract newcomers as well, writes Melissa Flournoy.

  • Human Side of Katrina Recovery Still Needs Work

    Oct 19, 2009

    Four years after Hurricane Katrina, many people in the Gulf Coast region are still "just surviving," struggling with the economic devastation and the physical and psychological toll of these kinds of disasters, write Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta.

  • Five Questions President Obama Should Ask in His Visit to New Orleans

    Oct 14, 2009

    The federal government has spent about $140 billion responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Gulf Coast now needs more money for hurricane and flood protection and for coastal restoration. But we still haven't properly evaluated whether our money was spent wisely, writes Melissa Flournoy.

  • Alabama's Challenge: Better Prepared Workforce

    Jul 14, 2009

    Alabama has made significant economic progress in recent decades, attracting car manufacturers and new industrial development. The state now has an opportunity to address some systemic challenges in education, health care, and workforce development to be competitive in a global economy, writes Melissa Flournoy.

  • Obama, Congress Can Improve FEMA, Homeland Security

    Dec 21, 2008

    In his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama pledged to rebuild the Gulf Coast — one of the country's most wounded, yet economically strategic, regions. To keep this laudable promise, he will need to make a sustained commitment not only to a national disaster recovery plan, but also a comprehensive economic development strategy for the Gulf Coast, writes Melissa Flournoy.

When Students Disappear… — Feb. 21, 2007

Fifty-three thousand students disappeared from Louisiana's public school system after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Another 10,000 enrolled temporarily after the storms and then departed. They did not return to the state's public schools for the remainder of the 2005-06 school year, writes John F. Pane.

Mississippi Comeback — Aug. 20, 2006

Hurricane Katrina caused as much devastation and human suffering along Mississippi's Gulf Coast as it did to New Orleans. It was the worst disaster to hit the state since the Mississippi River floods of 1927 and the Great Depression that soon followed. Katrina's powerful winds and floodwaters claimed 231 lives statewide, caused more than $100 billion in damages and destroyed buildings, crops and livestock as far as 100 miles inland.

Health Costs of Katrina — Oct. 10, 2005

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita took a devastating toll on their victims, tragically killing and injuring some and leaving many not only homeless but jobless - deprived of paychecks and employer-sponsored health insurance. Suddenly unable to pay their medical bills, these people - like many others who were poor and lacked health insurance before the hurricanes - now face a health care crisis.

Healing Storm Victims' Mental Health — Oct. 3, 2005

Victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita are now faced with the task of coping with the psychological aftermath of the nightmare storms. Without a major national effort, many may not have the help they need to recover fully, write Kenneth B. Wells and Greer Sullivan.

Prepare for Disaster — Sep. 27, 2005

The glaring lesson in the aftermath of the largest emergency response and relief effort in U.S. history following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is that it is far less painful and expensive to prepare for disasters than to respond to them. We've seen the same lesson following earlier disasters, but have failed to learn its, write Tom LaTourrette and Ed Chan.

Get Proactive with Disasters — Sep. 27, 2005

Imagine if the Army's main strategy for protecting soldiers was to provide more ambulances, hospital beds, and doctors to treat the wounded - instead of relying on defensive measures such as fortifications, tanks, body armor and helmets to protect soldiers from being wounded in the first place. The strategy of responding only after attacks instead of adequately preparing to defend against them sounds absurd. But it is exactly what the federal government, states and localities have done when it comes to protecting people from disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornados and volcanoes, writes Charles Meade.