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Hurricane Katrina
A Special Report Series by MCEER

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall with sustained winds estimated at 125 mph, unprecedented storm surges approaching 30 feet and winds extending 125 miles from its center. It resulted in over 1,300 lives lost, and caused major flooding and damage that spanned more than 200 miles along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, a multidisciplinary team of investigators from MCEER, headquartered at the University at Buffalo, conducted post-disaster field reconnaissance to examine the impact of Hurricane Katrina on physical engineered systems and the response and recovery efforts that followed. Their objectives were to examine wind, storm surge and debris damage from a multi-hazard perspective. Implications of lessons learned from this reconnaissance effort are being examined to mitigate damage and improve response and recovery efforts not only from future hurricanes, but also from other extreme events such as earthquakes or terrorist attacks. By collecting this multi-hazard information, MCEER is seeking to develop engineering design strategies and organizational strategies that will make communities more resilient against any extreme event.

The MCEER special report series "Engineering and Organizational Issues Before, During and After Hurricane Katrina" was initiated to present the findings from the field reconnaissance mission. The topics addressed include advanced damage detection using remote sensing, damage to engineered structures, organizational decision making primarily in hospitals, and environmental and public health issues. Preliminary damage reports from the MCEER team along with a wealth of other information collected after the hurricane are available on MCEER's Katrina Reconnaissance pages.

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Volume 1: Emergency Response              

Hospital Decision Making in the Wake of Katrina: The Case of New Orleans

By Lucy A. Arendt and Daniel B. Hess

January 2006

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Volume 2: Remote Sensing

Advanced Damage Detection for Hurricane Katrina: Integrating Remote Sensing and VIEWS™ Field Reconnaissance

By J. Arn Womble, Shubharoop Ghosh, Beverley J. Adams and Carol J. Friedland

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Volume 3: Health & Environmental Issues

Public Health and Environmental Infrastructure Implications of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

By James Jensen and Pavani Ram

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Volume 4: Buildings

Damage to Engineered Buildings and Lifelines from Wind, Storm Surge and Debris in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

By Gilberto Mosqueda and Keith Porter

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Volume 5: Bridges

Damage to Bridges from Wind, Storm Surge and Debris in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

By Jerome O'Connor and Paul E. McAnany

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