Resilient Communities are the Foundations of a Resilient America.

Gulfport Resilience Essays

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in coastal communities from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, with several communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast among the most devastated. In 2007, Gulfport, Mississippi became one of three initial partner communities in the Community and Regional Resilience Initiative (CARRI), now known as the Community and Regional Resilience Institute. While participating in CARRI’s effort to identify tenets of community resilience, citizens from all sectors of the Gulfport community conveyed stories about challenges presented by Katrina and actions taken to respond.

Responding to Gulfport citizens’ desire to share their experience with other communities, the CARRI Gulfport Team, including researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast, worked with community members to document their stories. The essays presented here vary in style and length, but all attempt to capture key lessons learned from the Gulfport community’s daunting experience with Hurricane Katrina. The lessons relate to all dimensions of community resilience – anticipating disturbances, responding effectively, recovering over the long term, and reducing vulnerability for the future. The Gulfport community and CARRI hope that other communities will be able to adapt and apply these lessons to enhance their own resilience.

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