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Organ Environ. 2009 Dec 1;22(4):422-436.

Evacuation and Return of Vietnamese New Orleanians Affected by Hurricane Katrina.


Hurricane Katrina struck near New Orleans on August 29, 2005, and resulted in the collapse of the federal protective levee system and the flooding of most of the city. New Orleans East, where the main Vietnamese enclave is located, was especially hard hit. By chance, just weeks before this disaster occurred we collected with our colleagues a wide range of demographic and health data for a population-based sample of working age Vietnamese Americans living in New Orleans. One year after the storm, we re-interviewed everyone from the original sample who had returned to the area. This re-interview sample included about two-thirds of the original sample.Those who had returned by the one year point were more likely than those yet-to-return to have been employed before the storm, to have worked in the skilled sector of the economy, to have been married, and to have been a home owner. Many problems experienced during the immediate aftermath of the storm, such as crowded and unsanitary conditions, had been resolved by the one-year anniversary. Other problems remain, such as a continuing lack of information, lack of access to medical care, and fears of violent crime.

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