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Evaluating Racial Disparities in Hurricane Katrina Relief Using Direct Trailer Counts in New Orleans and FEMA Records

Authors

  • Thomas Craemer

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Connecticut
      Thomas Craemer is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut. He received doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University and the University of Tübingen, Germany. His research interests include race-related policies, implicit and explicit racial attitudes, and survey research.
      E-mail: thomas.craemer@uconn.edu
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Thomas Craemer is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut. He received doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University and the University of Tübingen, Germany. His research interests include race-related policies, implicit and explicit racial attitudes, and survey research.
E-mail: thomas.craemer@uconn.edu

Abstract

Are charges of racial disparities in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina accurate? Limited publicly available data on trailer distribution in New Orleans are compared to an on-site trailer count and to a complete trailer count from aerial photographs of New Orleans. The Lower Ninth Ward in Orleans Parish (98 percent Black prior to Hurricane Katrina) had significantly fewer trailers than neighboring Arabi in St. Bernard Parish (95 percent White prior to Hurricane Katrina). To control for administrative differences between parishes and socioeconomic factors, two affluent neighborhoods within Orleans Parish, Pontchartrain Park (97 percent Black prior to Hurricane Katrina) and Lakeview (94 percent White prior to Hurricane Katrina), are compared. The conclusion: racial discrepancies remain large and substantial. A number of hypotheses are developed and the implications discussed.

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