Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Most Katrina evacuees in Houston plan to stay here

12.09.2006
Rice University researchers compile three rounds of surveys

More than two-thirds of the Hurricane Katrina evacuees who fled to Houston for shelter a year ago said they plan to remain here, according to a recent survey by researchers at Rice University.

Of 362 evacuees surveyed in July, nearly 69 percent said it was "very likely" or "somewhat likely" they will permanently stay in Houston. Nineteen percent said it was "unlikely" and 12 percent said it was "very unlikely" that they would stay in Houston.

A white paper summarizing the results of this National Science Foundation-funded survey is available online at http://brl.rice.edu/katrina/. The survey focused on mostly poor, African-American, unemployed and uneducated Katrina evacuees in Houston - a population estimated at 35,000 to 40,000 people - and was conducted in apartment complexes where evacuees live.

The researchers conducted three waves of surveys - one in September 2005 right after many of the evacuees were bussed to shelters in Houston, one in November 2005 after the evacuees were relocated temporarily into apartments and hotels, and one in July 2006 after they had been settled into apartments. Each wave involved just over 350 different evacuees.

"When you compare the results of the first survey with those from the third round, it's clear that uncertainty about remaining in Houston has decreased among the group that we targeted," said principal investigator Rick Wilson, chair of political science at Rice. "However, what is very interesting is that even at the outset, sizeable portions of the population thought it was very unlikely they would return to Louisiana."

Just under 50 percent of those surveyed shortly after they arrived in Houston said it was likely they would remain in Houston, and 30 percent said they did not know how long they would be here. By November, 46 percent expected to be in Houston at least a year, and almost 37 percent expected to be here more than a year.

While about 60 percent of the evacuees surveyed had been employed in New Orleans before Katrina, a little more than 60 percent are now unemployed. Almost 74 percent have an annual income of less than $15,000, and almost 17 percent have an income of between $15,000 and $25,000. "Respondents to the study often complained about the difficulty with finding jobs in Houston, in part due to the lack of social networks and in part due to problems with figuring out the transportation system in Houston and getting around the city," Wilson said.

Forty-four percent of the evacuees who rated their health as "fair or poor" in comparison to others in their age group said they felt worse now than the day before Katrina. Forty-six percent currently have no health insurance; given that 29 percent had no health insurance before Katrina, the researchers attributed the increase in uninsured to the rise in unemployment among the evacuees.

Between 50 and 57 percent of the evacuees said their lives are worse today than before Katrina in regard to finding a job, transportation, getting around Houston and access to friends and relatives. But 57 percent said their lives are better in regard to Houston schools.

The evacuees' ratings of the performance of elected officials and government agencies in responding to the hurricane and flooding and later in dealing with relocation and assistance suggest that they blame mostly the federal government for the outcome. President George W. Bush received a favorable rating from only 15 percent at the time of the evacuation, from 28 percent during relocation in Houston, and from 20 percent almost a year after adjustment to living in Houston. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's favorable approval rating during these same intervals were 26 percent, 40 percent and 34 percent, respectively. In contrast, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin received consistently higher approval ratings: 41, 46 and 46 percent for the same periods.

Houston Mayor Bill White received even higher consistent approval ratings when evacuees evaluated his performance in responding to Katrina since their arrival in Houston, with 74 and 76 percent giving a favorable ranking in November and July, respectively. FEMA did not fare as well; a favorable evaluation of 62 percent in November dropped to 41 percent in July. The evacuees also became less-satisfied with the Red Cross, as reflected in a favorable rating of 74 percent in November dropping to 66 percent in July.

"Expectations may have been much higher for the performance of FEMA and the Red Cross after evacuees arrived in Houston," said Bob Stein, Rice professor of political science, who helped analyze the data. "Evacuees may have also expected these relief agencies to have taken greater responsibility for their relocation to Houston than either the mayor or city government."

Of the 362 participants in the July survey, 55 percent were female and 45 percent were male. Almost half (47 percent) were between the ages of 18 and 34; 30 percent were between 35 and 49 years of age; 23 percent were 50 or older. Fifty-five percent were single; 27 percent were married or living with a partner; 14 percent were divorced or separated; and 4 percent were widowed. About one-third of the survey participants had less than a high school education, and one-third had taken some college courses or earned a college degree.

Wilson noted that the three rounds of surveys sampled three distinct cross sections and were not intended to represent all Katrina evacuees. The first wave focused on people who had recently arrived in shelters across Houston. The second wave was conducted in hotels and apartment complexes as evacuees were in transit between the two types of housing. The third wave focused on evacuees in apartment complexes almost a year after the evacuees had settled into Houston. The researchers used a convenience sampling method, soliciting volunteers in each wave, and compared the demographics from their first and third waves to similar samples taken by other pollsters at approximately the same time.

B.J. Almond | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rice.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>