Ecology + Justice + Culture in the American South

Hurricane preparedness and recovery in southwest Louisiana

Hurricane recovery in southwest Louisiana

Since August 2020, Gulf Coast correspondent Carly Berlin has been reporting on the toll Hurricanes Laura and Delta have taken in southwest Louisiana. She’s examined how officials tried to prepare during the COVID-19 pandemic, the aftermath of the storms, the slow response by federal agencies, and the mental health effects of multiple disasters.

Three of these stories were supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines Project, and several have been published in partnership with local and national outlets. We’re also working on several projects to reach folks without reliable internet access.

Do you live in southwest Louisiana and have ideas for issues we should cover? Fill out this tip form and we’ll be in touch.

How to navigate FEMA aid: Advice from a former employee

‘Do I even qualify?’: Deadline looms for $500 FEMA aid following Ida

‘Life-threatening situation’: FEMA says power outages—not just storm damage—may qualify Louisiana residents for evacuation aid

A year after Hurricane Laura, southwest Louisiana ‘still in limbo’

‘Hurricane fatigue’: Gulf Coast emergency managers still rebuilding as they prep for more storms

‘People are wiped out’: Costs pile up as hurricane season begins

How we made a mental health resource guide for southwest La. residents

‘Communities shouldn’t have to rely on miracles’: A conversation with Samantha Montano

The slow road to getting vaccinated after back-to-back hurricanes

How southwest Louisiana mobilized to shelter unhoused people during the winter storm

The population of Lake Charles, La. shrank more than any U.S. city in 2020

Field Notes: How we reported our series on Hurricane Laura recovery

‘It’s just a vicious cycle’: Evictions, homelessness surge in southwest Louisiana after hurricanes

‘They’re so weary’: Louisiana teachers recover from back-to-back hurricanes during the pandemic

After hurricanes, it’s harder than ever for Lake Charles’ Black residents to cast a ballot

Toxic spills, pollutants threaten Gulf Coast communities after hurricanes pass

This is what hurricane response looks like during a pandemic