1. Buy real estate following a disaster. Houses in New Orleans are now being sold for HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA amounts of money, houses that you wouldn’t even walk by ten years ago. Empty lots have STARTING bids at $80,000 at auction. Think about that during the next major natural disaster in your town!
2. You don’t need home insurance. Katrina showed us that it doesn’t matter if you put money every year into home insurance, flood insurance, disaster insurance, etc. everyone got paid out (or bought out) from the government. And what didn’t get paid out, religious groups came down to fix it for free. ‘MERICA!!!!!!
3. Keep an ax in your attic. Before Katrina, I certainly didn’t consider the possibility that anyone would have to exit their house from the roof. And a roof does not have a human-sized door. Keep an ax in the attic so you can hack your way out in an emergency, or, you know, if a serial killer was lurking below.
4. Kids need therapy. When I was a newspaper reporter in New Orleans after the BP oil spill in 2010, I wrote an article about how BP was paying for therapy for all the children on the Gulf Coast who were traumatized by the spill. An excellent PR move and wholly important. And I’m sure there were some therapy programs for kids post-Katrina, but nothing that springs to mind. And now the “kids of Katrina,”—not the ones who were born ten years ago, but those who were impressionable 10-year-olds then who are 20 years old now—just may be EFFED up. I have no way to prove a correlation, but New Orleans has a major problem right now with teenagers and 20-something young people shooting, stabbing, terrorizing the French Quarter and beating people senseless for no apparent reason. I can’t help but wonder if these are children of the storm.
5. It forced you to care about your ex. No matter how much you hated them in the end, after Katrina, you got in touch with your ex, asked them where they were, if they were OK and even asked them about their mamma.
...Even if they were a toolbag.