As the Northeast struggles to recover from the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the destruction recalls the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005. But while many Americans saw progress in rebuilding the Gulf region when they were asked in a 2010 survey, a majority (57%) said the nation still was no better prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters than it was when Katrina hit.

The survey conducted during the 2010 hurricane season found broad skepticism about the nation’s preparedness. Majorities of most political and demographic groups – including 57% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans – said the nation was not better prepared.

College graduates were the exception; those with college degrees were about equally likely to say the country was better prepared (46%) as to say it was not better prepared (49%). By contrast, just 35% of those who had not graduated from college said the country was better prepared, while 61% said it was not. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.