Since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005, several organizations in the private and public sectors have tried to evaluate and identify what political conditions, public policies, and infrastructural issues contributed to such a catastrophe. The Fourth Report of the National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects: Review of the IPET Volume VIII provides advice to the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET). The IPET was established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October 2005 to evaluate the performance of the New Orleans' hurricane protection system during Hurricane Katrina.
This report is a review of a single volume within the IPET report (Volume VIII), which is entitled "Engineering and Operational Risk and Reliability Analysis." Volume VIII assesses risks to life and property posed by hurricanes in New Orleans for both pre-Katrina conditions and for a reconstructed hurricane protection system as of June 2006. Volume VIII has taken on a unique importance to the IPET effort because the information contained in it will be central to understanding the likelihood of future flooding and the resulting loss of life and fiscal assets in New Orleans. These issues are critical to the ability of residents and businesses to obtain financing and insurance for rebuilding in the area and for making decisions about the safety of living in New Orleans in the future. The report also discusses the contents and main sections of Volume VIII, presenting its findings and recommendations for improvements.