Background on DNORS

Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Louisiana, on the morning of August 29, 2005. The magnitude of the displacement that resulted was immense: The city's entire population of 455,000 was forced to leave the city and resettle, which some did temporarily and other permanently. The toll from the hurricane was enormous and continues to unfold. Many people had family members or friends who died or were injured, who had homes that were severely damaged or destroyed, who lost their jobs or businesses, and who had their lives severely disrupted.

Although this event occurred in 2005, research on many major topics of scientific and policy interest continue to be hampered by a lack of appropriate data. A critical need in assessing the impact of Hurricane Katrina and in planning a recovery is to obtain representative data on the whereabouts, status, health, and well being of displaced residents. The dispersion of residents makes this an extremely challenging undertaking; however, the value of these data for researchers, policymakers, and the public is extraordinarily high.

The DNORS was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD, R01 HD059106 and R01-HD059106-S1) to conduct a survey of New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina, to analyze the results, and, in collaboration with Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR) at the University of Michigan (U24 HD048404) to make the data publicly available to other researchers. Fieldwork began in mid-2009 and ended in mid-2010.