The Urban Institute has undertaken a 12-month project to assess the feasibility of studying the consequences of Hurricane Katrina for Administration for Children and Families (ACF) service populations. The assessment is concerned with Katrina’s consequences for child and family well-being and the need for ACF services. The analysis is organized around four substantive areas: migration and resettlement, income and employment, program needs (that is, needs for services), and program effects (that is, systemic effects on delivery systems). As part of its assessment of how to study the consequences of the hurricane, the Urban Institute project team has undertaken a broad literature review and produced a large bibliography on works that address the human, social, and economic dimensions of the storm, beginning with landfall in August and September 2005.
To identify the vast array of materials of potential interest, we used a systematic approach to gathering all known studies and relevant writings, using search terms specific to the disasters as well as broader but related topics concerning how regions, communities, economies, people, programs, and policies were affected, and what current and future needs will be. The search through electronic clearinghouses on Hurricane Katrina–related subjects encompassed electronic and print media, academic journals, and work developed by nonprofit and for-profit organizations, foundations, and federal, state, and local governments. For example, we searched the Brookings Institution and Living Cities, Inc. “Katrina Reading Room”; the Urban Institute’s series After Katrina; and a Hurricane Katrina web resource, a selected list of over 25 national and state-level nonprofit and private sector organizations that are known to have produced relevant work in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes. We also reviewed relevant reports from key government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and others engaged in research, such as the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service, the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council. Similarly, we searched a selected list of national, state, and local newspapers and magazines that might be expected to have produced analyses of the effects of the storms, or detailed accounts of local conditions important to understanding the context of developments and the effects of the storms.