Disaster Impact and Recovery: A comparison of Black and White Victims

March 1986 (VOL. 4, NO. 1)

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This paper present an analysis of recovery from natural disaster of black and white disaster victims. The data were gathered in Paris, Texas following a tornado in that town in April, 1982 which destroyed or damaged over 1500 houses and apartments. A sample of 219 black victims and 212 white victims were interviewed seven months after the disaster, with information being gathered on some 178 items pertaining to their losses, aid received, psychosocial impacts and recovery. Discriminant function analysis is used to select sets of independent variables that predict recovery levels for black and white victims along two dimensions of recovery, emotional and economic recovery. Differences in determinants of recovery between the two groups of victims involved variations in losses, psychosocial impacts, aid utilization and social support, but not demographic or socioeconomic factors.