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 Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>