In the nine years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, communities across several states have taken various approaches to rebuilding their physical infrastructure. Long-term planning strategies are typically captured in urban planning documents, such as the long-range comprehensive plans required by state statute in Mississippi.
Comprehensive plans from four Mississippi communities affected by Hurricane Katrina—Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, and Waveland—indicate that communities in the region understand many of the present strengths and weaknesses with respect to disaster resilience. These towns have outlined a strategy to mitigate damage, reduce vulnerability, and create support networks to speed up recovery for a future disaster on the scale of Katrina. The CED discussion paper “Resilience in Planning: A Review of Comprehensive Plans in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina” by research analyst Ann Carpenter examines these plans and compares their content with what is known about resilience from the perspective of fostering connected communities with a strong sense of place.