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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

“Poll Finds Most U.S. Coastal Residents Not Prepared For Hurricanes”

June 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

An article in the News-Press of Fort Myers, Florida, “Poll Finds Most U.S. Coastal Residents Not Prepared For Hurricanes,” reported on a new Mason-Dixon/National Hurricane Survival Initiative survey that nearly three out of four residents of coastal states take no steps to brace their homes for hurricanes. According to the piece:

One in three have no family disaster plan, the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research survey found on the eve of the summer hurricane season, which the government predicted Thursday could produce up to seven major hurricanes.

Even in Florida, where 44 percent of residents live in an evacuation zone, one in six respondents said they would refuse to evacuate if ordered.

The survey finds gaps in many areas, according to the article:

The poll found gaps in knowledge, insurance and evacuation plans among the respondents.

More than half the respondents didn’t know that storm surge represents the greatest threat of death from a hurricane and 95 percent didn’t know that garage doors are the most likely part of the house to fail.

About half the respondents don’t have flood insurance and nearly as many live in an evacuation zone without having an inventory of their belongings.

One in four respondents said they would evacuate as far as possible to outrun the storm. But 40 percent said they wouldn’t leave as a major storm approached. One in five said they would leave only a day before landfall of a storm, which threatened traffic gridlock.

“As important as it is to prepare before a storm, it is just as vital to stay out of harm’s way after a storm,” said Max Mayfield, a WPLG forecaster and former director of the National Hurricane Center. “Too many deaths occur in the aftermath of a storm, when conditions are still dangerous.”

The poll was part of the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, a 15-year collaboration of the National Emergency Management Association, the Salvation Army, Florida International University’s International Hurricane Research Center, the National Hurricane Center and corporate sponsor Plylox.

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Tags: Hurricane Preparedness · Public Opinion

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