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LSU Hurricane Public Health Center
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Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
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TEAM LOUISIANA
Forensic Levee Investigation


Book Release

Engineering Atlantis:
Restoring Louisiana and Rebuilding
New Orleans


 

The evacuation of New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina, at one point a Category 5 storm heading towards the city (photo: Washinton Post).

The LSU Hurricane Public Health Center (HPHC), also known as the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes, began multidisciplinary research on public health aspects of hurricanes and major floods in 2002.  

Comprised of a growing list of over forty researchers and advisory board members, in fields ranging from engineering to computer modeling to medicine, the initial pilot study of the Center was to assess and mitigate the public health impacts of a major hurricane strike in New Orleans.  This catastrophic event was in many ways realised in the fourth year of the five year project - by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Prior to hurricane season 2005 however, many research initiatives from the Center were able to be applied to pre-Katrina hurricane planning and mitigation, as well as later response and recovery efforts.

Working closely with the LSU Hurricane Center, these included advances in transportation planning, evacuation surveys, animal evacuation, storm surge modeling, GIS, and environmental public health, among numerous others.

New Orleans and Louisiana continue to be highly vurnerable to hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters for a variety of reasons.


Flooded New Orleans streets
during Hurricane Katrina
(photo: News Tribune)

As studies following Hurricane Katrina continue, Center researchers remain focused on the broader scope of identifying and mitigating public health impacts of complex disasters.


Search and rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina (photo: Louisiana Army and Air National Guard)

However, Center goals now also include developing and evaluating strategies to restore Louisiana, rebuilding a more sustainable and innovative New Orleans, better protecting vulnerable populations and better preparing for future storms and disasters.

This research was funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents Millennium Trust Health Excellence Fund
Contract HEF(2001-06)-01
webpage update: August 27, 2007