Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Hurricane Katrina, 10 years Later: Reflecting on Then and Now


Gulf Coast residents knew it was coming, and they knew it would be bad – but few probably imagined just how devastating it would be.

Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, flooding 80 percent of New Orleans, obliterating entire towns in Mississippi, killing more than 1,500 people and causing billions in damages (Time; Washington Post). The rest of the nation could only watch the suffering in horror.

“Ten years later, it is not exactly right to say that New Orleans is back. The city did not return, not as it was” (New York Times). Indeed, New Orleans is much changed, and continues to face challenges. Yet at the same time, it also has major new medical facilities, a revamped school system, millions of dollars of new construction or renovated properties, and has become known as an entrepreneurial hot spot.

It was in response to Hurricane Katrina that IEDC – with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration – began recruiting and sending economic development professionals to the Gulf Coast region to assist with economic recovery.  IEDC is thankful for the more than 150 people who volunteered over 850 hours – some for weeks and even months – to help New Orleans and other communities in the region begin to recover.

A great body of knowledge on disaster economic preparedness and recovery came from that experience and from subsequent recovery work that IEDC has conducted with funding from EDA. That knowledge can be found throughout this website in multiple pages with a sampling found in the following resources:

Free Publications

View other publications, technical assistance reports, and presentations  here. 

Free Webinars

View other archived webinars and upcoming webinars here. 

Other Webpages of Interest

FEMA – Hurricane Katrina 10 Years Later – Teamwork In Recovery

View in FEMA Multimedia Library