Gauging Public Opinion in Texas Pertaining to Evacuation Procedures before and after the Hurricane – Research Paper Example

The paper “Gauging Public Opinion in Texas Pertaining to Evacuation Procedures before and after the Hurricane" is a great example of a research paper on sociology. Ample measures are claimed to be taken by the Federal and the State governments to evacuate the people in Texas, expected to reside on the path of Hurricane Ike, both before and after it made its landfall. The concerned authorities made all possible efforts to provide the local leaders with the resources required to aid their communities in weathering any eventuality (Tyler Morning Telegraph). Mandatory evacuation guidelines were issued for the people residing in Jefferson, Brazoria, Orange, Galveston, and Chambers counties while voluntary evacuation guidelines were issued for Hardin, Jackson, and Victoria counties (Tyler Morning Telegraph).

All the public and private resources were pressed into service and efforts were made to amass a maximum number of personnel to help in pre and post-landfall operations. Arrangements were made to manage the evacuation operations both by ground and air. “The Emergency Management Council and State operations Center was fully activated (Tyler Morning Telegraph)”. Still, it remains an issue of debate, whether the affected populations in Texas consider the evacuation arrangements resorted to, to be sufficient and ample within the expected constraints and handicaps. The goal of this study is to gauge the public opinion in Texas pertaining to the evacuation procedures pressed into service, both before and after the Hurricane Ike made its landfall. 

The given analysis is based on the questionnaire submitted to 100 randomly selected residents in the affected area, aged 18 years and above. The questionnaire consisted of ten questions, designed to assess the satisfaction and security levels of the residents in Texas, so far as the evacuation procedures were concerned. Both, statistical and subjective parameters were used to gauge the opinion of the participants.   

As per this study, nearly 65 percent of the participants were found to be satisfied with the evacuation procedures pressed into service, both before and after the hurricane struck. Five percent of the participants expressed an inability to evaluate the evacuation procedures whereas 30 percent considered the evacuation procedures to be less than satisfactory. 55 percent of the participants confessed to a heightened level of insecurity ensuing from their apprehensions about the efficacy of the evacuation procedures. 38 percent of the participants admitted that they felt quite secure so far as the reliability of the rescue procedures was concerned.

The purpose of this paper is to assess the public opinion in Texas pertaining to the evacuation procedures pressed into service, both before and after the Hurricane Ike made its landfall. In particular, this study seeks to gauge the satisfaction and security levels of the participants in correlation with the expected efficacy of the rescue procedures. The research was conducted by taking a random sample of the affected residents, aged 18 years or above.

According to a public opinion survey conducted less than a month after the hurricane, Ike hit Texas, 67 percent of the residents reported that the Federal and the State response to this natural calamity was good or excellent (Rasmussen Reports). Only 7 percent of the residents subscribed to the extreme opinion of categorizing the rescue efforts to be poor or substandard (Rasmussen Reports). Nearly 66.2 percent of the residents declared the assistance and support extended by the public agencies such as the National Hurricane Center to be reliable and trustworthy (Chron.com). Both of these surveys were based on the questionnaires filled by the randomly selected residents in the affected areas.

This study is based on a questionnaire submitted to 100 randomly selected residents in the affected area, aged 18 years or above. This questionnaire consisted of 10 questions which were:
- Did you evacuate?
- Why did you leave?
- Which agency made the alternate arrangements for your stay during the critical period?
- Was the trip more or less difficult than expected?
- What was your key source of information for deciding?
- Where you apprehensive about the reliability of the evacuation procedures?
- Were gasoline and other general amenities easily available on your evacuation route?
- How would you assess the reliability procedures on a scale of 1 to 10?
- How will you mark your levels of insecurity during evacuation on a scale of 1 to 10?
- If you had to do it over again, would you trust the available evacuation procedures?

The questionnaire was so designed to solicit the apt statistical and objective responses from the participants. 
The results deduced were more or less in consonance with the other surveys conducted in this particular context. Almost 65 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the evacuation procedures, while 30 percent of the evacuees reported the procedures to be unsatisfactory. Five percent of the respondents expressed their inability to evaluate evacuation procedures. 55 percent of the respondents reported heightened levels of insecurity and anxiety during the evacuation, while 38 percent admitted to being relatively calm and secure as far as the reliability of the rescue procedures was concerned.

The findings of this paper do recommend further broad-based studies on this topic. Though the results conclusively declare the satisfaction levels of the participants to be fairly high, more holistic studies are required to assess the psychological impact of this calamity on the people involved. The conclusions of this paper suggest further refining and streamlining of the federal agencies involved in the rescue procedures and call for a more coordinated and planned approach.



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