Shorenstein Center Offers Reporting Resources for Covering Migration After Hurricanes

As hurricane season approaches in the American Southeast, the Shorenstein Center offers a useful starting point for journalists looking to report on the migratory effects that these natural disasters can have on communities in the Gulf Coast.

The report focuses on a longitudinal study from Brown University that analyzed the movement patterns of people in counties affected by storms from 1970 to 2005. By comparing NOAA data on flood and wind damage with US census data, the study examined which demographic groups were able to uproot and leave hurricane-damaged areas, and which were forced to stay behind.

The study found that poor communities are not only the most vulnerable to severe hurricane damage, but they are also the least likely to leave a storm’s aftermath. While the study notes a racial disparity – people living in predominantly black communities are more likely to stay in damaged areas than those in majority white communities – its findings suggest that poverty remains the leading factor.

The report includes a detailed summary of findings, as well as a list of other research and reportage useful to journalists tasked with covering storms and their aftermath. The Dart Center also has resources on covering natural disasters, including testimonials and reflections from journalists who covered Hurricane Katrina.

Dart Blog