As both a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and an expert on disaster recovery and inequality, Sociology Professor Monica Sanders can discuss the storm's significance, the still-ongoing recovery in her native New Orleans and how we can learn from and prevent a similar disaster.
Sanders began a career as a journalist chronicling stories of survivors, winning an Emmy for 9/11 coverage for CNN. Her current work as a researcher and advocate evolved from her personal experiences during the storm, a Category 5 hurricane that hit New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, and caused more than 1,200 deaths and $125 billion in damage.
She can also comment on the following topics:
- Equity and inequality in disasters and climate change (such as housing regulations locking ethnic communities in flood zones and heat islands).
- Long term recovery from disasters and humanitarian crises (specializing in vulnerable groups, including the impact of losing large population groups to COVID-19).
- Use of technology to engage communities in disaster preparedness and recovery (such as mapping, data aggregation to allocate resources).
- Law and policy related to any of the above ("We aren’t following the Pandemics and All Hazards Response Act and it shows," she said).