The demographics of New Orleans played a crucial role in the way Hurricane Katrina affected the population of the city. Of all the people affected, Black residents living in low-lying areas were the most devastated. Out of the entire population of New Orleans, Black residents comprised 66% of all deaths, with White residents making up 31% (R. Campanella, 2007). Why is it that Black residents were disproportionately affected, making up 76% of Katrina’s flood victims? The history and geography of New Orleans explains the reason behind the disproportionate affect on Black residents. After the Civil War, emancipated slaves moved to the city of New Orleans en masse. The inner city of New Orleans on higher ground was settled by mainly rich and White, leaving no space for Black residents, which would also be exacerbated by racial prejudice. This left the newly freedmen to settle along the riverbanks of the city and on the outskirts of the inner-city. These areas were considered “high nuisance” and “high-risk” areas and were the furthest away from amenities, resources, transport and often had poor and dangerous infrastructure. An important note here is also that these areas are notoriously easier to flood because they are directly next to the water, and lower lying ground compared to the inner city. As one ventures further out into the city, we can see that the state of the housing get even worse and worse, turning into shanty towns and makeshift homes that are plagued by disease and poverty. (R. Campanella, 2007) Even before surveyors looked at the land of New Orleans, hurricanes and storms were already battering the city. However, humans have always built cities and towns along shores, so current civilizations are not immune to this. Even with the technology of dams, levees, and other anti-flooding systems, we still cannot disrupt a hurricane. Humans will continue to live in Houston and New Orleans, and both of these cities will most definitely be flooded again. The fault here lies within the political system and the policies made by the government, as well as the lack of foresight with regards to the individuals involved who decided that Houston should be inhabited by people. Specifically the fault of Isaac Cline in the situation with Houston, as he totally disregarded the warnings of Cuban scientists. Once again, Americans did not listen to the Cubans simply because they are a socialist country, and this has resulted in a massive loss of life and putting civilians in danger. With regards to flood relief and prevention, political relationships interfere greatly with the government’s ability to take coherent action to help people. The event of these urban disasters have shown the chronic inaction of America’s ruling powers. With regards to Houston, hundreds of thousands of homeowners were framed into buying homes that were actually built on dedicated floodplains and bayous, specifically for the purpose of being flooded. Then these same homeowners weren’t reimbursed afterwards when their home was flooded, and some homeowners were even flooded twice. Due to the inaction of the local and main government, there was no organization of any sort in order to help these people who were stuck in the middle of the flood. Instead, civilians were forced to help each other, with one scenario of a garbage truck driver driving through the flood picking up anyone they could see to bring them to safety. It could be argued that the disastrous effects of these hurricanes were caused solely by the inaction of the government and its lack of responsibility. As seen in Houston, the building up of the city’s centers was clearly a higher priority for land developers. There is a clear disregard for human life, with the most incentive on making profit off of building luxury homes and expanding the city center. Houston is now completely covered in cement with little green land, and this has seeped out into the suburbs as well, reducing the amount of land that can absorb water and potentially alleviate a flood. This concrete land makes it easier for entire neighborhoods to be flooded and reduces the absorbability of the soil. Despite dams and levees that were built, they both failed. The fault of the engineers that built the dams, as well as the National Weather Service that advised that the dams and levees not be built in a way that prevent their erosion. Furthermore, builders in New Orleans built the dams and levees incorrectly, many of them not high enough, resulting in water overtopping them. This was a total disregard in acknowledging that New Orleans is sinking inch by inch every year, so calculations need to be done to counter this slow sinking. Politicians did not place priority on hurricane relief systems, therefore this system of prevention was built up in a piecemeal fashion, with poor organization and planning due to the incentive to find low-cost and quick solutions that resulted in terrible quality, service and safety. The political situation surrounding Hurricane Katrina made it impossible for individuals to seek help from the government, as the priority was placed on putting billions of dollars into a war in the middle east. This meant that every time congressional delegates from Louisiana came up with projects to show to congress, the money would continue to be cut in half, and projects would be carried out shoddily or not at all. After 9/11, all policies and politics began to revolve around the event of 9/11, putting all other issues on the back burner. The ever-changing chaotic political landscape of America creates insurmountable challenges to getting real services and crucial help to those who need it. The incompetency of the national guard was highlighted when they opened up Addicks and Barker dams because of the clear incentive to flood the suburbs instead of the city central. The incentive was placed on retaining the ‘rich, inner city’ and flood the poorer outskirts, as aforementioned. The most immediate issues as a result of the political landscape that exists in a capitalist system, means that regard for human life can be put in limbo due to the overwhelmingly large number of private business and organizations that are in charge of building these amenities and caring for the citizens. For e.g., a real estate developer has an incentive to build expensive homes in order to make more profit, rather than build homes that can withstand floods, especially if this means cutting costs will bring in more revenue. Of course, this is not always the case. But even a small chink in the armor of a community can sink hundreds and thousands of homes into disaster when the moment is crucial. What made it truly made it possible for New Orleanians and Houstonians to survive these urban disasters is the resilience of the community and care for one another which was was key in recovering from the aftermath of these terrible events. Furthermore, it is the city that makes the people, not the buildings. It is interesting to see how the culture of New Orleans changed as more Latinx residents moved in and rebuilt the city that was traditionally predominantly made up of white Cajuns and African Americans (T. Campanella). The writer is a junior in psychology at GMU, USA.