Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Atkinson, Connie

Second Advisor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Third Advisor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael


This paper is drawn from oral history interviews from elderly residents who survived the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. The aged faced similar challenges as their younger counterparts in the evacuation, aftermath, and rebuilding phases of the storm; however, their responses are limited by a number of factors that make the impact on their lives more intense. The majority of storm casualties in New Orleans were elderly. Those elderly who did survive the flooding experienced life-threatening physical and emotional stress. Life-altering changes, such as relocation from familiar neighborhoods to nursing homes in unfamiliar cities or a dependent life with family members, have often meant a loss of independence, a loss of community, and a loss of their sense of history. As natural storytellers, many elderly New Orleanians have important accounts to relate and oral history offers a method to preserve their narratives.


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