Tracing the Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Population of New Orleans: The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study

Narayan Sastry: Tracing the Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Population of New Orleans: The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study, Sociological Methods & Research 2009 38: 171-196.

The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study is designed to examine the current location, well-being, and plans of people who lived in the city of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005. The study is based on a representative sample of pre-Katrina dwellings in the city. Respondents were administered a short paper-and-pencil interview by mail, by telephone, or in person. The pilot study was fielded in the fall of 2006, approximately 1 year after Hurricane Katrina. This article describes the motivation for the pilot study, outlines its design, and describes the fieldwork results using a set of fieldwork outcome rates and multivariate logistic models. It ends with a discussion of the lessons learned from the pilot study for future studies of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the population of New Orleans. The results point to the challenges and opportunities of studying this unique population.

Key Words: Hurricane Katrina • New Orleans • survey • natural disaster • response rate analysis

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