A team of eight MBA students and one HBS research associate worked with the Baton Rough Area Foundation to develop a strategic plan for the reintegration of the thousands of storm evacuees that are still living in FEMA trailer parks seventeen months after the storm. This task has proven to be an enormously complex challenge for the state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region, with no clear solution on a variety of issues: affordable housing stock, employment, transportation, medical needs, mental health needs, education, etc. Many dedicated people and organizations have made tremendous strides toward getting the region back to normal, but much is yet to be done. The HBS team was invited to create a plan that would encompass the best practices and initiatives of the many organizations involved in the storm recovery. The team met or spoke with over 20 organizations, consolidated their plans into one document, the first of its kind, with the goal of beginning effective multilateral communication amongst the many involved parties.
“The assignment was incredibly difficult in its complexity. We applaud the tireless efforts of those that are overcoming enormous obstacles everyday to help the people of Louisiana,” said Jack Bonnette (NH). “The project was a lot of fun to work on, and it’s a good feeling to potentially make a difference on such a large scale,” said Elana Berkowitz (NA). The participating team members were Jack Bonnette (NH), Julie Bonnette (Partner, NH), Elana Berkowitz (NA), Paul Woody (NB), Arti Bhatt (NF), Tian Tian (NF), David Anderson (OD), David Zipper (OD), and Terry Heymann.