Should you stay or should you go?

New Orleans locals who survived Hurricane Katrina no worse off than those who fled

A first ever study reveals a disparity between how observers characterize the survivors of Hurricane Katrina who didn’t flee New Orleans ahead of the natural disaster versus how they see themselves. Onlookers considered those people who stayed behind to be “careless, passive, depressed and hopeless,” according to a summary of the Stanford University study, even though some of these residents didn’t have the money or support to leave. But the people who stayed behind said they didn’t feel powerless at all—in fact, they considered themselves more connected to their neighbours and the community. They also expressed their religious conviction and compulsion to help others. What’s more, in the aftermath of Katrina, which killed 1,800 people and caused more than US$100 billion in damage, the survivors who stayed behind suffered no more negative health outcomes, such as alcoholism or mental illness, than those who fled.

Science Daily

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