The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study
Narayan Sastry, University of Michigan
The Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Study was 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 29 August 2005. The study is based on a representative sample of pre-Katrina dwellings in the city. Fieldwork efforts focused on tracking respondents wherever they had moved, including back to New Orleans. Respondents were administered a short paper-and-pencil interview by mail, by telephone, or in person. In this paper, we present the preliminary results from the pilot study. We describe the study design and report on our ability to locate and successfully interview displaced New Orleans residents. We also describe the migration experience, mental health, socioeconomic status, and future plans of the respondents. We end with a discussion of the lessons learned from the pilot study. Our conclusions highlight the challenges and opportunities of studying this unique population.