Southern Louisiana: Hurricane Recovery

Oct 23, 2009

survivedbetsy-webIn 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated Southern Louisiana, claiming lives and destroying homes. In December 2007, I accompanied Union College’s community service mini-term to New Orleans and Dulac, Louisiana. This project seeks to share experiences of hurricane survivors with members of hurricane survivors with members of the Union community. I interviewed and photographed residents in the midst of reconstruction in New Orleans, who, faced with unreliable contractors and other financial burdens, worked with volunteer organizations to rebuild their homes. I interviewed members of one such organization, Students Advocating For Equitable Recovery (SAFER), a volunteer organization founded by Tulane University students. In Dulac, a small town in Southern Louisiana, I interviewed staff members of volunteer program, sponsored by the Disaster Response Ministry of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. In addition, I talked with residents who survived the storm and were in the process of rebuilding their homes. I toured Dulac with members of this volunteer program to explore Dulac’s role in the cultural significance of Southern Louisiana. These stories of Louisiana residents show the need for continuous support in the reconstruction of Southern Louisiana and the positive impact of volunteers, such as members of the Union community service mini-term.

– Alex Handin, class of 2010

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