|Disaster Reports : The Effects of Hurricane David. 1979, on the Population of Dominica (PAHO)|
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the personal damage and hardship experienced by the population of Dominica as a result of the cyclone, to examine the ways in which their lives were still affected in the medium-term aftermath, and to collect this information in such a way that it could be used to assist future planning.
It was decided to undertake a population-based retrospective survey using a questionnaire. Demographic, socio-economic and health-related questions were asked and the questionnaires were filled in by local interviewers who were specially trained for the purpose. The pre-selected households were visited and interviews took place at home. Answers covered the period from the day of the disaster until the time of the survey about 9 months later. A multi-stage proportionate random sampling method was chosen to obtain a representative 6 % sample (n = 5,977) of the total island population. The sample was stratified on the basis of the 1970 census into three settlement types, the main town of Roseau, small urban settlements and villages. Comprehensive lists for food distribution, compiled on a household basis a week to ten days after the disaster, were used as the basic sampling frame. Government and church registers of mortality, together with information from hospital files, were used to support and complete the survey data.