Law Among the Ruins
James Ming Chen
Michigan State University - College of Law
June 1, 2008
LAW AND RECOVERY FROM DISASTER: HURRICANE KATRINA, Robin Paul Malloy, ed., Vol. 2, 2008
University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Hurricane Katrina broke America's collective heart. No previous natural disaster in the nation's history inflicted a grimmer toll. The legendary city of New Orleans all but sank when its levees failed and the resulting storm surge drowned much of the city and many of its feeblest, most vulnerable residents. Katrina exposed flaws in virtually every aspect of disaster management at every level of American government. The magnitude and senselessness of the loss indicted American society for its callous disregard of social vulnerability.
There is no such thing as a natural disaster. Understanding the interplay of environmental events with social conditions holds the key to the optimal application of legal tools for preventing, mitigating, and remedying natural tragedies - the grand social exercise called law among the ruins.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, natural disasters, disaster management, environmental law
JEL Classification: K00, K32
Date posted: May 30, 2008