Pre- and post-hurricane resources for journalists

Government Agencies

Federal Emergency Management Administration and more

State Emergency Management Offices

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

  • Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms posts pre- and post-storm aerial video, still photography, and laser altimetry surveys of the region of landfall.
  • Science Picks, September 2005 Edition on Hurricane Katrina: "Learn the latest on how U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science is helping victims of Hurricane Katrina and how its scientific research and capabilities will help prevent vulnerabilities to future natural hazards. This special edition of Science Picks can help you cover the science behind Hurricane Katrina. Photos and Web links are provided to enhance your story."

U.S. National Institutes of Health

  • NIEHS Hurricane Response offers a portal to a GIS-based tool for tracking environmental hazards following natural and man-made disasters. Users can access geo-referenced demographic, public health, infrastructure, and environmental data. Generate customized maps of Superfund sites, TRI sites, oil platforms, refineries and chemical plants, etc. Basic infrastructure data is included, such as roads and electric power plants, potential contaminant release sources including Superfund and Toxics Release Inventory sites, hurricane flooding data, Census data, physiographic data, and remote sensing imagery both pre- and post- Katrina.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • National Hurricane Center has storm info, marine forecasts, hurricane history, satellite images.
  • Hurricane Rita images contains >1,100 aerial photographs of the Louisiana and Texas coastal regions in the path of Hurricane Rita. The photos were taken the day after the center of Rita made landfall on the extreme southwest coast of Louisiana between Sabine Pass, Texas, and Johnson's Bayou in Louisiana.

Private Agencies

SEJ Resources and Sources


  • The American Planning Association's Katrina web page offers a list of resources, planning-related news coverage and upcoming American Institute of Certified Planners workshops.
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (storm relief efforts)
  • The Center for Public Integrity's Katrina Watch website highlights news stories about the hurricane and its aftermath from a variety of publications, news stations and radio programs. The site also includes updated links to government web sites that list the latest Katrina-related federal contracts. Katrina Watch is available via a daily email newsletter. Journalists are invited to submit their work for inclusion.
  • Duke University's Occupational & Environmental Medicine listserv archives includes dozens of postings about Katrina/occupational health issues, such as on the lack of coordination, lack of information, misuse of information, etc. Anyone can add themselves to this listserv, which is reputed to be the country's most commonly used and best dialog location for people working in this field. It also has online books and other resources that can help people who are not in the field look up ideas and translate some of the technospeak. Those who post information also post their names and contact information, so a journalist could follow up with them.
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • Environmental Law Institute: National Wetlands Newsletter, a wetland policy journal, has created a free, searchable archive of more than 30 of its articles that deal specifically with wetlands along the Gulf Coast.
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: Responding to Katrina
  • LexisNexis is offering free access to coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. There are links to stories from more than 4,000 sources all over the country and the world, including TV transcripts. You can find articles sorted by news organization — for example, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate — or by topic (i.e., New Orleans/levees).
  • Natural Resources Defense Council: September 21, 2005, report, "Katrina's Wake: Health, Environment, Energy Challenges for Recovery."
  • Poynter: "Hurricanes: The Ultimate Environmental Disaster," by Bill Kovarik, Radford University journalism professor and SEJ board member, links to national-level sources organized by topic:
    • The basics: Helping readers and viewers prepare and cope
    • Chemicals: Prepare for the worst
    • Water and air pollution
    • Basic infrastructure
    • Wetlands and barrier islands
    • Hurricanes and climate
  • Secrecy News posted a few newly unveiled Congressional Research Service reports that might help those covering Katrina: "Strategic Petroleum Reserve," updated September 2, 2005; "Oil and Gas: Supply Issues After Katrina," August 31, 2005; and "Federal Disaster Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries," updated August 29, 2005 (all require free Adobe Acrobat ® reader).
  • Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, information and resources:
  • Sustainable Energy & Economy Network (SEEN): Post-Katrina environmental catastrophe. SEEN sifted through many of the hundreds of aerial shots posted by NOAA, matching leading suspect facility (leaking oil refineries and storage facilities, devastated chemical plants) addresses with maps and landmarks, and have posted the most significant on the SEEN Gallery. The thumbnail photos lead to much more detailed photographs.
  • Yahoo! News: Full Coverage: Hurrican Katrina

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