WASHINGTON — Less than a year after Superstorm Sandy, a new survey shows that few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe storms even as forecasters are predicting a busy 2013 hurricane seasons.
The survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel found that overall, nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of those surveyed say they are very or somewhat concerned that they will be in harm’s way because of a hurricane, similar to poll results from 2007. Still, only about half of those surveyed have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they get separated. Nearly a third of people did not know where to stay in an evacuation or did not have an emergency kit with supplies.
Even if few are taking steps to get ready, Superstorm Sandy has raised awareness of the need to prepare, especially in areas hit hardest by the storm last year. Coastal residents of New York and New Jerseywere most likely to take action to prepare. The survey found that 56 percent of New York and New Jerseycoastal respondents were concerned they could be in harm’s way of a hurricane in 2013, and 49 percent said their Sandy experience has encouraged them to take more steps to prepare for this hurricane season.
“The Red Cross and The Weather Channel are sounding the alarm to move people from concern to action,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president of disaster cycle services at the Red Cross. “The time to prepare is now, whether it’s downloading a disaster app, creating your family’s evacuation plan or making sure you have extra supplies of medication on hand.”
“Covering severe weather and seeing firsthand the devastation it can cause is a constant reminder for me of how important it is to be prepared,” said Jim Cantore, meteorologist and storm tracker for The Weather Channel. “We want to save lives and the best way to do that is by keeping people informed and helping them prepare before severe weather strikes.”
Other key survey findings include:
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Telephone survey of 1,412 U.S. adults 18 years and older residing in coastal counties from Maine toTexas.
Survey conducted in May 16-22, 2013 by Issues and Answers. Margin of error is +/-2.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Where appropriate, survey results from an August 2007 have been included. This was a telephone survey of 751 U.S. adults 18 years and older residing in coastal counties from Maineto Texas with a supplemental sample of 150 Gulf Coast residents. Results are also referenced fromFebruary 2004 and May 2001 polls which included 500 randomly selected respondents living in coastal counties from Maine to Texas.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About The Weather Company: Where the World Gets its Weather
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SOURCE American Red Cross