Katrina and vulnerability: the geography of stress

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2007 May;18(2):315-30. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2007.0029.


The immediate aftermath of Katrina focused the world's attention on the vulnerability of the urban poor and racial/ethnic minority groups in New Orleans. This vulnerability can be viewed in terms of site, the proximity of a neighborhood to a hazard, and situation, the social context of that neighborhood. Vulnerabilities, associated with demographic characteristics such as being poor, being a member of a racial/ethnic minority group, and being female, will strengthen the force of a disaster. This paper uses a site and situation approach to show how maps of the five main sources of disaster-related stress in New Orleans can be used to predict where counseling resources should be targeted.

MeSH terms

  • Continental Population Groups
  • Disasters*
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Louisiana / epidemiology
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology
  • Vulnerable Populations / psychology*
  • Vulnerable Populations / statistics & numerical data*