Giving Voice to the People of New Orleans: The Kaiser Post-Katrina Baseline Survey

This house-to-house survey of people living in the New Orleans area examines the ongoing struggles of residents seeking to recover from the Hurricane Katrina disaster, including a detailed look at differences in views and experiences by race. Designed and analyzed by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the survey provides a portrait of the enormous needs of the population in order to inform recovery efforts and policy development on the Gulf Coast and in Washington.

The survey of people living in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes documents the devastating impact that Hurricane Katrina and the failure to respond quickly and effectively to it has had on the economic well-being, physical and mental health, and personal lives of the people of the New Orleans area. The survey also found a sharp divide in the way that African Americans and whites in the New Orleans area experienced the storm and perceive the recovery efforts, especially in hard-hit Orleans Parish. Future Kaiser surveys are planned in 18 months and 36 months to monitor progress and changes.

The study is unique not only due to the difficulty of conducting a scientific survey in the recovering New Orleans area, but also because it assesses residents’ quality of life across such a wide variety of areas. To conduct the study, a team of 41 interviewers visited 456 randomly selected census areas, documented the physical condition of nearly 17,000 housing locations and completed interviews with 1,504 randomly chosen adults living in the four parishes between September and November 2006. The survey’s margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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Audio Interview with Kaiser President and CEO Drew E. Altman, Ph.D., on the study’s findings and implications.
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audioicon.gifAudio Interview with Kaiser Vice President and Director of Public Opinion and Media Research Mollyann Brodie, Ph.D., on how the survey was conducted.
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