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What is the survey about?

Eastern North Carolina has experienced storms and floods but estimates of the dollar value of property damage don’t tell the full story about how and for how long families and communities are impacted and how they help each other recover. We want to develop a more complete understanding of the ways that families and communities prepare for, are affected by, and move forward after storms and hurricanes. One of the best ways to do this is to learn directly from people who live in areas that are affected by these storms. For this reason we are beginning a survey in communities affected by Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, and Dorian.

Our survey will help us answer questions like:

  • How and for how long do storms disrupt day-to-day life for people living along the coast?
  • How much stress did people feel during and after storms?
  • How and who do recovery programs help?
  • How have neighbors helped each other get through challenging times?

Who will receive this survey?

Addresses will be randomly selected in coastal Carolina communities that have recently been impacted by hurricanes to various degrees.

Selected households will receive a letter providing more information, including about how to participate in the survey.

If I receive a letter, what does that mean?

If you receive a letter, this means that your household was randomly selected to participate in the survey. We hope you choose to be part of the survey. To learn more about us and our research, click here.

How will interviews take place?

We are starting the survey during the fall of 2020. If your house is selected, a member of our survey team will come to your house to talk to you about the project.

If you agree to participate, we hope to interview every member of the household who is age 15 years or older. Interviews with each individual will take about 30 minutes per person, with some additional time needed to collect information about your household as a whole..

You choose the time and place of the interview, and whether you want to conduct the interview in person or over the phone. Our survey team is a combination of people from local or nearby communities whom we hired and trained, or people working for UNC Chapel Hill. Our number one goal is to protect your safety and that of our research team. We will take all appropriate measures (like wearing masks, keeping safe distances, etc.) to ensure this.

What if I don’t want to participate?

Participating is voluntary. We hope that you choose to participate so we can get a complete and accurate picture about the ways storms and floods affect people across Carolina communities, and how people recover from them.

What if I don’t want to answer every question?

You don’t have to. You can skip questions you are not comfortable answering.

If I don’t receive a letter, can I still participate?

Yes! If your household did not receive a letter inviting you to participate, you can email us at so that we can set up an interview.

What do you plan to do with the information I provide?

We will combine the information you provide during the survey with other peoples’ information. We will analyze that information to look for patterns and trends. Finally, we will share our findings with participants, communities, planners, and policy makers, as well as produce reports and publications.

How will you protect my information?

We take your privacy seriously. Your de-identified information will be combined with that of other participants. Your identity will never be revealed and linked to your survey responses in any publication or written report of our findings. If you have further questions about how we protect your data, please email us at

Will I be compensated?

Participating individuals who are part of the randomly selected households will receive a $20 gift card if they are age 18 or older, or a $10 gift card if they are 15-17 years old.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Please email us at