View of flooded housing after Hurricane Katrina, Aug. 29, 2005 (Photo courtesy NOAA, Creative Commons)
With Tropical Storm Isaac likely turning into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall Aug. 28, New Orleans residents are more prepared than when Hurricane Katrina hit almost seven years ago to the day on Aug. 29. The reason: investment in adaptation following the 2005 storm.
The economic damage from Katrina was estimated at $110 billion, putting it to the top of the list of most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history. Since then, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors have erected $15 billion USD of new levees, pumps, walls and gates.
See more HERE about what has been done to adapt the southern coastline of the U.S. near News Orleans in the article “Billions in New Defenses Mean Isaac Will Not Rival Hurricane Katrina In Damage,” from Forbes’ Christopher Helman.
Investment in adaptation around the world is urgent to prepare communities for similar natural disasters that are increasing in strength and cadence. For example, in 2012 there have been a record number of events that have taken lives and destroyed livelihoods. That, compounded with the fact that more than half of the world population lives in cities with numbers growing to 75 percent of the population by 2050, means that those especially along the coastline need to adapt to ensure that communities are protected.
The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) has created the GAIN Index to help prioritize and raise awareness on the urgent need to increase resilience. To see how your country ranks in the GAIN Index, visit index.GAIN.org.