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Kaiser's In-Person Katrina Study


As Today's Washington Post reports on a new in-person survey of current residents of the New Orleans area conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey, according to the release on the Kaiser site,

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 methodology of this survey is as interesting as the findings, at least to polling geeks like me. Telephone surveys present some obvious challenges in the areas affected by Katrina, particularly in reaching those still living in trailers or who otherwise lack landline telephone service. As such, the the Kaiser researchers went back to basics and conducted in-person interviews using a "two-stage, stratified area probability sample" and a team of 41 interviewers. Their interviewers visited 456 randomly selected census areas and documented the physical condition of nearly 17,000 housing locations, then attempted to conduct interviews in randomly selected households. The methology is all explained here; the complete 100-page study is available for download here.

 

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