Sample Geography Coursework Paper on Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane is considered the most destructive disaster compared to other calamities such as droughts. Hurricanes are the vast, circling thunderstorm that forms above the tropical and subtropical water bodies (Feria-Domínguez, José, Pilar and María 1). According to numerous studies, hurricanes occur in the tropical latitudes and happen when the summer ends since the seawater temperature is higher at this time compared to other periods. The impact of the events has been felt across the United States especially Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans which led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties.  

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was one of the adverse natural calamities that hit the United States affecting most of the activities in Southeast Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina developed as a tropical depression on the southeastern Bahamas due to the contact between the tropical wave and depression (Zakour, Michael and Kayla 159). The outcome was a significant landfall in Louisiana resulting to major floods across the region and destruction of properties in the Gulf Coast. For instance, due to the levee breaks, the incident destroyed over 60% of the buildings found in New Orleans (Tian, Xian-Liang and Xian 1). Equally, hurricane Katrina led to the dislocation of families and students and psychological disorders on most of the survivors.

Hurricane Katrina Strength based on Saffir-Simpson

Hurricanes are categorized through the use of Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) into five parts. Storms with the minimum wind speed are grouped in category one while those with the highest wind speed are classified as class five. According to various studies, when a storm attains the first grouping, it is considered to be a hurricane. As such, the lowest wind speed needed for a blast to be regarded as type one hurricane is 119km/h (Feria-Domínguez, José, Pilar and María 1).

Based on the SSHWS, hurricane Katrina is under category three since it reduced its intensity to 1110 UTC after reaching group five on August 28, 2005 (Kantha 125). Equally, the classification is enhanced by the degree of destruction in which hurricane Katrina attained class three when it made levee breaks and landfalls in Louisiana. 

Suggestions to Prevent the Repeat of the Tragedy in New Orleans and Other Coastal Cities

Numerous techniques such as modernized corps engineering and integrated natural forms of flood protection can be used to prevent the level of impact caused by hurricane Katrina as witnessed in 2005.  As a way of averting a similar occurrence of the disaster in the future, the country needs to avoid the use of the old army corps plans as it leads to the creation of poor projects and environmental damages (Shader n.p). Equally, techniques like enhancing healthy uplands and watersheds will help in decreasing the intensity of runoffs, protecting, and restoring the degraded riparian.


Hurricanes are the major destructive disasters compared to other catastrophes like droughts. The events occur at the tropical latitude mostly at the end of summers when the seawater temperatures are higher than at different times. Hurricane Katrina is considered one of the greatest disasters that have ever hit the United States of America causing massive destruction of properties and loss of lives. Based on the Saffir-Simpson scale, hurricane Katrina is in class three hurricanes due to the level of its wind speed during the happening. Notably, techniques such as embracing modernized corps engineering and enhancing natural flood protection methods can be used to avert similar occurrence in the future.

Works Cited

Feria-Domínguez, José Manuel, Pilar Paneque, and María Gil-Hurtado. “Risk perceptions on hurricanes: evidence from the us stock market.” International journal of environmental research and public health Vol. 14, No. 6, 2017, Pp. 600.

Kantha, Lakshmi. “Classification of hurricanes: Lessons from Katrina, Ike, Irene, Isaac and Sandy.” Ocean Engineering Vol. 70, 2013, Pp. 124-128.

Shader, Eileen. “Preventing Another “Unnatural Disaster” Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina | American Rivers”. American Rivers, 2015, Accessed 2 Nov 2018.

Tian, Xian-Liang, and Xian Guan. “The impact of hurricane katrina on students’ behavioral disorder: a difference-in-difference analysis.” International journal of environmental research and public health Vol. 12, No. 5, 2015, Pp. 5540-5560.

Zakour, Michael J., and Kayla Grogg. “Three centuries in the making: Hurricane Katrina from an historical perspective.” Creating Katrina, Rebuilding Resilience. 2018, Pp. 159-192.