Children Take Charge: Helping Behaviors and Organized Action Among Young People After Hurricane Katrina

  • Lori PeekEmail author
  • Jessica Austin
  • Elizabeth Bittel
  • Simone Domingue
  • Melissa Villarreal
Part of the Mercatus Studies in Political and Social Economy book series (MSPSE)


Although children and youth have often been cast as “vulnerable victims” during disasters, their actions have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity to evoke positive change in the face of an ever more turbulent natural environment. This chapter highlights a range of child- and youth-initiated efforts to reduce disaster risk and to promote more disaster resilient communities. The chapter examines the types of activities that children and youth have helped to create and lead, including disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives, community-based preparedness programs, and long-term recovery efforts. Both international as well as domestic efforts are compared and contrasted. It also discusses the challenges associated with sustaining such efforts as well as future opportunities for deeper inclusion of child- and youth-led coalitions in traditional emergency management programs.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Peek
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jessica Austin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Bittel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simone Domingue
    • 1
    • 2
  • Melissa Villarreal
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Natural Hazards CenterUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologySUNY CortlandCortlandUSA
  4. 4.South Asia ProgramCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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