To give voice to people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing floods, The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a unique survey of evacuees in shelters in the Houston area. One-third (34%) of Katrina evacuees report that they were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued. Half (50%) of those who were trapped said they waited three or more days to be rescued.
More than 1 in 10 (14%) Hurricane Katrina evacuees report a family member, neighbor or friend was killed by the storm or subsequent flooding, and more than half report that their home was destroyed (55%) Also, the survey found that 2 in 5 (40%) spent at least a day living outside on a street or overpass, and 13% report that some members of their immediate family are still missing. The survey also found that evacuees in Houston shelters face serious health challenges that will complicate relief and recovery efforts.
Key health-related findings include:>
The survey design was co-directed by Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It is striking how many days people went without medicine, food and water without help from any agency of government or volunteer group," said Blendon. "Many of those who did not evacuate were in poor health and circumstances to begin with and many said they were physically unable to leave."
Robin Herman | EurekAlert!
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