The goal of the sampling strategy was to select enough organizations to complete 200 telephone interviews while maximizing the response rate. To assess the level and types of disaster relief and recovery work undertaken by faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs), we wanted approximately 100 interviews completed with faith-based organizations sampled from the American Church List (ACL) and 100 interviews with community-based nonprofit human service organizations sampled from the database maintained by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS). All organizations in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi were eligible for the study, as were all organizations within a 50-mile radius of the Houston Astrodome. The geographic area around the Houston Astrodome was selected because the Astrodome was a major receiving center for hurricane evacuees.
The sampling strategy was designed to oversample the areas either directly affected or partially affected by either hurricane Katrina or hurricane Rita. To accomplish this, the two lists (ACL and NCCS) were divided into seven geographic strata. There were three geographic strata in both Louisiana and Mississippi, which we describe as primary (i.e., counties or parishes directly impacted by the storm); secondary (counties or parishes that were partially impacted or adjacent to the areas of direct impact); and tertiary (all other counties or parishes in the state). The seventh and final stratum was Texas, which was defined as organizations within 50 miles of the Houston Astrodome.
To identify which counties (i.e., FIPS codes) in Mississippi were impacted by the hurricanes, we used FEMAs definitions for disaster areas found in FEMA-1604-DR, Mississippi Disaster Declaration as of 10/27/2005 at http://www.gismaps.fema.gov/2005graphics/dr1604/dec1604.pdf. FEMAs report helped us code the 82 counties in Mississippi as primary, secondary, or tertiary impacted areas. For Louisiana, the Congressional Research Service report Hurricane Katrina: Social-Demographic Characteristics of Impacted Areas at http://www.gnocdc.org/reports/crsrept.pdf (November 4, 2005) helped us code the 64 Louisiana parishes as primary, secondary, or tertiary.