Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



The disaster in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina showcased the city's many environmental problems. The industrial history of the city, subsidence of the city causing it to be below sea-level, and the fact that the city is protected by levees and pumps were critical elements of the disaster and played a large role in the emergency response. The disaster led to an enormous emergency response by many entities, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the lead in these actions. In response to the large number of homes being flooded and unlivable in Orleans Parish, FEMA implemented its temporary housing program. This program's goal is to house the largest number of people in the shortest period of time. The process in response to Hurricane Katrina involved the placement of manufactured housing on homeowners' lawns, in commercial trailer parks, and on properties leased by FEMA. The parks that FEMA built for manufactured housing are like any other federal action and must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. This research seeks to outline FEMA's process of implementing temporary housing and to identify the environmental factors and demographic factors that may have influenced the siting of temporary housing group sites in Orleans Parish after Hurricane Katrina. This research uses data on temporary housing sites considered for use and sites that were constructed obtained from FEMA via Freedom of Information Act Request and U.S. Census data to identify which factors were essential to the successful siting or unsuccessful siting of temporary housing parks. The results indicate positive correlations with sites being constructed and being in historic districts and passing the FEMA environmental review. The results also indicate negative correlations between sites being constructed and having a Pre-Katrina hazardous material issue as well as sites being of residential land-use. The difference of means analysis between sites built and not built also identified differences between the number of proposed units and the size of the proposed site. The sites not built had larger means of the proposed number units and the size of the proposed site.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Margaret Reams