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Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Earthquake Risk Reduction

"Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Earthquake Risk Reduction" is the theme of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, to be held February 6-9, 2008, at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter. It is a rare opportunity to capture lessons from the largest natural disaster in U.S. history. To view the program and to register, visit

New Orleans is a "city awash in ideas: the new and the ambitious, the au courant and avant-garde, the idealistic and the slightly nutty" (Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times, 8/29/07). In written congressional testimony in February this year, Walter Leger of the Louisiana Recovery Authority said, "We had more than 200,000 homes damaged or destroyed entirely. Entire parishes, entire cultures were devastated…we are all learning each and every day how to make progress… We aren't just rebuilding homes and infrastructure – we are rebuilding civil society and community. That takes new ideas and creativity, along with a commitment to making things work." At the EERI 2008 Annual Meeting in New Orleans being held February 6-9, Leger will speak on "Responding to and Recovering from a Catastrophic Disaster – Louisiana's Lessons," during the first session on "The Makings of and Response to Large-Scale Urban Catastrophe."

The rest of the program will feature sessions of interest to all professionals and researchers in earthquake engineering and other hazard fields, including:

  • - Impact of the Terrible Triplets -- Ivan, Rita, and Katrina -- on the Energy Sector
  • - Enhancing the Resiliency of Hospitals and Critical Facilities – Lessons from New Orleans, California, and Elsewhere
  • - Restoring Critical Infrastructure after Catastrophes
  • - Post-Disaster Data Applications and Management
  • - Scenario-Driven Catastrophe Planning
  • - Achievements of 75 Years of Strong Motion Seismology
  • - Dealing With Low Probability/High Consequence Events: What Recent Catastrophes Are Teaching Us
  • - An optional field trip around the city of New Orleans, looking at major flood and hurricane levee protection works along the Industrial Canal, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the 17th Street Canal, and Lake Pontchartrain. Participants will also see community recovery and mitigation efforts in a diverse range of neighborhoods, including the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans East, and Lakeview.

2008 AM Brochure - PDF file - 593 KB