The Resilience in Survivors of Katrina Project (“RISK”) Project (Mary Waters, PI, Jean Rhodes and Beth Fussell, co-PI’s) is a longitudinal study of low-income parents who lived in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. Starting in 2003—before the hurricane occurred—1,019 low-income parents from New Orleans enrolled in a study designed to increase educational attainment among community college students. The study measured participants’ economic status, social ties, and mental and physical health prior to the hurricane. Although Hurricane Katrina disrupted the study in August of 2005, it provided an extremely rare opportunity to study the consequences of a disaster for the lives of vulnerable individuals and their families. We have conducted two follow-up surveys and two rounds of in-depth qualitative interviews.
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