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Survey reveals coastal residents aren’t prepared for Hurricane Season

As hurricane season has now officially begun, Coastal residents must be aware and vigilant of the potential dangers that this season brings to so many Americans.  There have been several damaging and devastating hurricanes within the past decade. Superstorm Sandy landed just less than a year ago, and weather forecasters are expecting an active 2013 hurricane season.  Yet even with Superstorm Sandy and our past hurricane history, surveys show that Americans living in Coastal counties are no more concerned now than they were in 2007.  The survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel, conducted earlier in May of 1,412 residents of coastal counties from Texas to Maine, yielded these findings:

  • About half (49 percent) the people living on the New York and New Jersey coastline say that Hurricane Sandy has encouraged them to become more vigilant and prepared for this hurricane season.
  • On the Gulf Coast and Southern Atlantic Coast, about one in five coastal residents said that Hurricane Sandy encouraged them to take more steps to prepare (21 and 22 percent respectively).
  • More than one in four (27 percent) coastal residents of New England said that Hurricane Sandy encouraged them to take the necessary steps.
  • While many coastal residents say that Hurricane Sandy has led them to take more preparedness actions, the statistics show otherwise:
    • Only half of residents have an evacuation plan.
    • Three in ten do not know where they would stay if they were forced to evacuate.
    • Only 1 in 2 have a plan for communicating with family if they become separated in an emergency.
    • 1 in 3 residents surveyed do not have an emergency kit.
    • Overall, nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of those surveyed say they are very or somewhat concerned that they will be in danger because of a hurricane, similar to poll results from 2007
    • Overall, only one in twenty residents have taken all seven actions that the American Red Cross recommends to be prepared.

Resources available to make preparedness easier:

  • Download a Weather Channel or Red Cross mobile app.  This gives you preparedness and weather information right in the palm of your hand.
  • Download the Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid App or any of our disaster-specific mobile apps to get lifesaving preparedness information instantly before and during emergencies.
  • Free checklists can be found at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster-safety-library

-Christina Barstow

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