Post-Hurricane Population Count Under Way in New Orleans

August 3, 2006

A door-to-door population count is being conducted in parishes hit the hardest by Hurricane Katrina to get a handle on how many people remain in the area.

The survey covers Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Orleans parishes.

Information-gathering packets were dropped at randomly chosen homes in several parishes in June. Teams from the Louisiana Public Health Institute are now conducting personal interviews with those who did not respond or with their neighbors to learn whether they are returning, said Erin Bertschy, team leader for the survey.

The survey teams also hope to compile socio-economic information.

Several state and federal agencies are helping finance the survey, which will help government understand residents’ needs a year after Katrina, Bertschy said. Officials hope to have the population estimates available in September.

Bertschy said the state health department is trying to survey 18 parishes affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, with priority being given to Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.

“What’s important to capture is what people are back, what are their health needs, what are their economic indicators, income levels and employment status,” Bertschy said.

Information from: The Times-Picayune,

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