Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith teaches an undergraduate sociology course, titled "Disaster, Self and Society," that incorporates his research.

How do individuals rebuild their sense of identity after a natural disaster? And how can city leaders use disasters as opportunities to eliminate inequalities?

UNCG Professor of Sociology Steve Kroll-Smith has been exploring these questions ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. And the answers aren’t simple.

First, there’s the issue of identity. For the 2015 book “Left to Chance: Hurricane Katrina and the Story of Two New Orleans’ Neighborhoods,” Kroll-Smith and colleagues Dr. Vern Baster and Dr. Pam Jenkins tracked 47 individuals over the course of six years.

One of their key findings? The relief effort itself can become a “second disaster.”

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Origially published Noveember 16, 2017.

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