Still at Risk: U.S. Children 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

Ten years ago, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc along the U.S. Gulf Coast, leaving 1,833 dead, driving more than 1 million people from their homes, and forcing more than 300,000 children to enroll in new schools around the country, sometimes very far from the communities they once knew.

In response to advocacy by Save the Children and many child advocacy groups, President George W. Bush and Congress created the National Commission on Children and Disasters to assess the gaps in federal planning that put children at risk, and to formulate recommendations that could guide a national movement to close those gaps and help states better protect our children.

The commission’s assessment found that “children were more often an afterthought than a priority” across 11 functional areas of U.S. disaster planning. In 2010, the commission issued its final report, with 81 recommendations and sub-recommendations aimed at ensuring children’s unique needs are accounted for in U.S. disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Now, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children has commissioned research to determine progress made on these recommendations. While the federal government has made progress in addressing the commission’s recommendations, our research indicates that nearly four in five of the recommendations have not been fully met. A decade after the Katrina wake-up call, America’s children remain far more vulnerable to disaster than they need be.

Visit this page to see the report’s highlights, resources on emergency planning, and interviews with survivors.

Published 2015-08-31

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