Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Political Science


Political Science

Major Professor

Day, Christine L.

Second Advisor

Chervenak, Edward E.

Third Advisor

Howell, Susan E.


On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, LA, causing catastrophic damage to the metropolitan area. The hurricane also exposed many of the racial, ethnic, and class-based vulnerabilities experienced by many New Orleanians. However, as is typically the case, gender was ignored in most media accounts in the aftermath of the disaster. This project examines the gendered dimensions of the disaster experience using New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina as a case study. Evidence from University of New Orleans Survey Research data indicates various gender differences from the initial response to the recovery efforts months later. Few gender differences were found regarding physical loss and displacement after the storm; however, psychological effects did often differ along gender lines, with women more likely than men to experience psychological symptoms directly after the storm, while men were likely than women to be affected approximately one year later. Interestingly, gender differences in evacuation plans and behavior varied according to whether or not a disaster had recently occurred. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, women were more likely than men to report having evacuated for Hurricane Georges, though no other variable was statistically significant. After Katrina, men were more likely than women to have an evacuation plan in place, while women were more likely than men to report a willingness to evacuate when recommended by local level officials, which they did when Hurricane Rita threatened the area. Public policy implications are discussed.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.