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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute

Hurricane Impacts in Mississippi and Alabama

Lead Investigators: Jerry Mitchell and Susan Cutter, University of South Carolina

This research systematically assesses the disparities in the level of damage (physical vulnerability) and the socio-economic characteristics of residents (social vulnerability) along the Mississippi-Alabama coast. This project continues to collect geographically referenced field data on the location and extent of the destruction caused by storm surge inundation. Field data will be correlated with empirically derived social vulnerability indices to more fully explain place-based vulnerability to disaster events, in other words which communities were the most vulnerable and why. The results provide information to state and local officials as they begin the process of reconstruction of these coastal and inland communities. Originally funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Health Sciences, University of South Carolina and now supported by HVRI.

Moss Point
Hurricane Katrina: Moss Point, MS – House flipped upside down by storm surge
(Photo taken by Hazards Research Lab 10-15-05)


Cutter, S. L., C. T. Emrich, J. T. Mitchell, B. J. Boruff, M. Gall, M. C. Schmidtlein, C. G. Burton, and G. Melton, 2006. "The Long Road Home: Race, Class, and Recovery from Hurricane Katrina," Environment 48(2):8-20.

Cutter, S. L. and C. T. Emrich, 2006. "Moral Hazard, Social Catastrophe: The Changing Face of Vulnerability along the Hurricane Coasts," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 604: 102-112.

Mitchell, J. T., 2006. "Hurricane Katrina and Mississippi's 'Invisible' Coast," Southeastern Geographer 46(2): 181-188