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The Geography of Social Vulnerability: Race, Class, and Catastrophe


The Geography of Social Vulnerability: Race, Class, and Catastrophe


It was bound to happen. The scenario had been researched, rehearsed, and replayed over and over again among emergency managers. It was just a matter of when and where the major hurricane would strike a large American city. Two specific scenarios had been considered—a major hurricane with 20 foot plus storm surge inundation affecting the Gulf Coast region or a hurricane-induced levee failure in New Orleans. Both captured the imagination of emergency planners designing training scenarios. Hurricane Pam, the fictional FEMA-funded emergency exercise for federal, state, and local officials in Louisiana, encapsulated both scenarios. Hurricane Katrina played them out in real time.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Cutter, Susan L. 2006. "The Geography of Social Vulnerability: Race, Class, and Catastrophe." In Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences. New York, NY: Social Science Research Council. https://items.ssrc.org/understanding-katrina/the-geography-of-social-vul...

START Author(s): 
Susan Cutter
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