Incrementalism before the Storm: Network Performance for the Evacuation of New Orleans


John J. Kiefer is an assistant professor of political science at the University of New Orleans.

Robert S. Montjoy is a professor of political science and director of the master of public administration program at the University of New Orleans.


Hurricane Katrina revealed a lack of preparedness in disaster management networks covering the New Orleans area. This paper focuses on the operation of networks in preparing to evacuate residents in advance of a major disaster. There are two cases: the relatively successful evacuation of residents who left by private conveyance and the widely publicized failure to provide for those who could not or would not leave on their own. We trace the actions and inactions of various players to reach conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of networks in the special circumstances of disaster preparation.