Title: Representation of Minorities in Natural Disasters Literature, 1885-1930 Authors: Graham A. Tobin, S. Elizabeth Bird, and Richard Salkowe Affiliation: University of South Florida Abstract: An examination of selected disaster literature from the late 19th and early 20th centuries reveals social and economic vulnerability issues that parallel many current concerns and also offer an historical perspective on attitudes that prevail today. While Hurricane Katrina focused media attention on the differential vulnerability experienced by ethnic minorities, this preliminary review suggests that ethnicity has long been a key issue, not only in the real experience of victims of disaster, but also in the public perceptions of those victims. In this paper, we examine the portrayal of ethnic and racial minorities in the aftermath of several historical disasters, arguing that entrenched racial attitudes may surface in a situation of stress and threat; for instance, minorities may be depicted as less rational and less deserving of help. Emergency response has made significant advances with the development of more sophisticated relief organizations from different governmental and non-governmental levels. However, while there is improvement in support for vulnerable groups, their depiction in the media often remains a major concern. The parallels between older representations and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are apparent and provide more lessons for hazard mitigation.