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                                    Project Information   


You are invited to take part in a research study being conducted by Maria Watson and Yu Xiao, researchers from the Hazard reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. The information in this form is provided to help you decide whether or not to take part. If you decide to take part in the study, you will be asked to sign this consent form. If you decide you do not want to participate, there will be no penalty to you, and you will not lose any benefits you normally would have.


Why Is This Study Being Done?

The purpose of this study is to inform federal state and local governments on how to effectively design assistance programs and allocate funds to maximize business recovery outcomes. It will also inform the business community about available external resources for disaster recovery.


Why Am I Being Asked To Be In This Study?

You are being asked to be in this study because you had previously responded to a survey with Dr. Xiao in 2009 after Hurricane Ike. We would like to follow up with you 5 years later.


How Many People Will Be Asked To Be In This Study?

320 people (participants) will be invited to participate in this study locally.


What Are the Alternatives to being in this study?

The alternative to being in the study is not to participate.


What Will I Be Asked To Do In This Study?

You will be asked to answer ten survey questions. Your participation in this study will last approximately five minutes.


There is a possibility of a face-to-face interview if you feel the survey did not adequately represent your responses or you wish to give a more detailed response.


 Will Photos, Video or Audio Recordings Be Made Of Me during the Study?

The researchers will not take any photos, videos or recordings unless you wish to participate in an interview. The researchers will make an audio recording during the interview for note-taking purposes only if you give your permission to do so. 


Are There Any Risks To Me?

The things that you will be doing are no more risks than you would come across in everyday life.


Will There Be Any Costs To Me?

Aside from your time, there are no costs for taking part in the study.


Will I Be Paid To Be In This Study?

You will not be paid for being in this


Will Information From This Study Be Kept Private?

The records of this study will be kept private.  No identifiers linking you to this study will be included in any sort of report that might be published.  Research records will be stored securely and only Yu Xiao and Maria Watson will have access to the records.


Information about you will be stored in locked file cabinet or computer files protected with a password. This consent form will be filed securely in an official area.


Information about you will be kept confidential to the extent permitted or required by law. People who have access to your information include the Principal Investigator and research study personnel. Representatives of regulatory agencies such as the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) and entities such as the Texas A&M University Human Subjects Protection Program may access your records to make sure the study is being run correctly and that information is collected properly.


Who may I Contact for More Information?

You may contact the Principal Investigator, Yu Xiao, Ph.D., to tell her about a concern or complaint about this research at 979-458-2731 or You may also contact the Protocol Director, Maria Watson at


For questions about your rights as a research participant; or if you have questions, complaints, or concerns about the research, you may call the Texas A&M University Human Subjects Protection Program office at (979) 458-4067 or


What if I Change My Mind About Participating?

This research is voluntary and you have the choice whether or not to be in this research study.  You may decide to not begin or to stop participating at any time.   If you choose not to be in this study or stop being in the study, there will be no effect on your student status, medical care, employment, evaluation, relationship with Texas A&M University, etc.



I agree to be in this study and know that I am not giving up any legal rights by signing this form.  The procedures, risks, and benefits have been explained to me, and my questions have been answered.  I know that new information about this research study will be provided to me as it becomes available and that the researcher will tell me if I must be removed from the study.  I have read this entire consent form.  I can ask more questions if I want. 


Do you want to participate in the survey?

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