September 2005

Spotlight On…   Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Monday, August 29 shortly after 7:00 a.m. and cut a swath of destruction through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Shortly afterwards, several levees protecting the city of New Orleans gave way, 80% of the city was submerged in water, and massive evacuation and relief operation was underway. Learn more about the disaster and how you can help with these resources.

How to Help

A complete list of local organizations who are participating in relief efforts by accepting donations (cash, food, etc.), providing housing to evacuees, or hosting benefits is available on

In times like these, it’s wise to be cautious—refer to the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliancefor tips on avoiding questionable solicitations for assistance. The IRS website has information about charitable giving and tax relief issues.


Hurricane Katrina: Before and After in New Orleans. Satellite images from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Hurricane Katrina Images. Aerial photographs of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, after Katrina made landfall.

Hurricane Katrina Media Gallery. Detailed satellite before and after images of New Orleans and the Mississippi coastline.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration News. Aerial survey of areas along the Gulf Coast damaged by Katrina.

News (national and international coverage)

BBC News. The latest headlines, eyewitness account, before and after satellite images, background analysis, and an animated guide to hurricanes.

Google Search: Hurricane Katrina. Stories culled from thousands of news sources worldwide.

National Public Radio. Archive of NPR’s exhaustive coverage of the disaster, Q&A about the flooding, and stories from listeners.

New York Times. News stories, photographs, and detailed interactive multimedia presentations that chart the path of destruction.

Online NewsHour: After Hurricane Katrina. Special reports from the PBS news show.

Yahoo News. Full coverage of the ongoing crisis, slideshows, message boards, and forums.

News (local coverage)

Baton Rouge Advocate. Stories, video clips, photograph galleries, and resources for assistance.

Mississippi Clarion-Ledger. Photograph galleries, conditions around the state, disaster relief resources, and missing person bulletin boards.

New Orleans Times-Picayune. News stories, photographs of the damage, maps and satellite images, missing persons forum, and disaster relief information.


Katrina Aftermath. A public gallery of thoughts, images, and sounds in response to Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina Web Blog. From National Public Radio.

Times-Picayune Breaking News Blog. From staff of the New Orleans newspaper.

Miscellaneous Resources

Hurricane 2005: A Hurricane Resource Site. Space station and satellite images, related multimedia links from NASA.

Environmental Atlas of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. This U.S. Geological Survey report offers information about the ecology, geology, land cover, types of shorelines, biological resources, flow patterns, significant storms, and growth trends of Lake Pontchartrain.

Fast Facts on Areas Affected by Hurricane Katrina. Maps, population figures, business statistics, and socioeconomic information. From the U.S. Census Bureau.

FirstGov: Hurricane Katrina Recovery. Information about locating family members or friends, giving help, getting help, shelter and housing for victims, health and safety, and government resources.

Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. Census 2000 data about the 73 official neighborhoods in New Orleans. Also includes historical snapshots of the neighborhoods, a variety of maps, and data about parishes in the Greater New Orleans area.

Hurricane Katrina’s Impact on U.S. Energy. Department of Energy report that addresses the impact of Hurricane Katrina on U.S. oil and natural gas markets. Also includes data on and news about petroleum, ports and pipelines, and natural gas.

Louisiana Coastal Facts. Statistics about land loss, population, hunting, fishing, commerce, and coastal restoration projects.

About Hurricanes

FEMA: Hurricanes. Concise overview of hurricanes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Also includes a glossary of hurricane terms and acronyms, information about hurricane tracking models, and lists of hurricane names.

FEMA for Kids: Hurricanes. History of hurricanes, how hurricanes are named and tracked, and information about past hurricanes.

Frequently Asked Questions: Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tropical Cyclones. Answers to questions that have been posed to the hurricane researchers of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory over the years.

Hurricane Basics. Lots of useful information from the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricanes: What You Should Know. From the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

NOVA Science Now: Hurricanes. New tools scientists are using to predict the intensity of hurricanes.

Tracking Hurricanes. NewsHour report on scientific and technological advances made in tracking these storms.

Hindsight is 20/20

Drowning New Orleans. In 2001, Scientific American predicts that “only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save” New Orleans from being swamped by a major hurricane.

Gone with the Water. National Geographic explains how the destruction of Louisiana’s wetlands could affect New Orlean’s ability to withstand a major hurricane. Published in October 2004.

Washing Away. This special report (2002) from the Times-Picayune details South Louisiana’s vulnerability should a major hurricane hit the region.