The Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey (DNORS) will build on the design and results of a pilot study, known as the Displace New Orleans Residents Pilot Study (DNORPS), that was fielded in the fall of 2006 . The DNORS will incorporate major new innovations and extensions to achieve higher tracking and response rates than in the pilot. For example, tracking will incorporate extensive in-person, on-the-ground efforts that will seek information from neighbors, community organizations, civic groups, local and state government agencies, and social, family, and work networks to locate and interview displaced residents. In addition to the area-based sample of dwellings, as in the pilot, DNORS will also sample from a pre-Katrina listing of Medicaid/LaCHIP recipients in New Orleans that was developed for the 2005 Louisiana Health Insurance Survey and was completed only weeks before Hurricane Katrina. The Medicaid listing will allow us to over-sample poor families with children—a group of particular interest that pilot results suggest may be difficult to identify and track. The Medicaid sample should produce high tracking and response rates for poor families because we will have detailed information on sampled cases and ways to track them using administrative databases.

This project will make a number of important contributions:

  • Study results will provide valuable information on the whereabouts, health and well-being of children and families who lived in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina, including information on short- and medium-term outcomes over a period of four years following the hurricane.
  • Results from the survey will provide valuable information to policymakers, researchers, and the public interested in understanding the scope and consequences of Hurricane Katrina's effects on the population of New Orleans.
  • This study will form the basis for a panel study to track the hurricane victims from New Orleans and to examine how they fare in the coming years. We know of no other study, either underway or planned, to sample and interview a representative panel of the New Orleans population affected by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Finally, this study will advance the development of scientific methods, both conceptual and practical, for studying populations that have undergone mass evacuations due to natural and human-caused disasters.