According to a report by YouGov.com, a research and consulting organization, 64 percent of Americans are woefully unprepared for a major natural disaster, even after the events of Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and a series of other major natural disasters smacking us around in recent years.
The report finds that people making disaster-readiness plans has slightly increased from 31 percent to 36 percent since 2011, showing that the majority of Americans have failed to adequately prepare themselves in the event of another major disaster. This is the breakdown of YouGov’s numbers,
Of the 36 percent who said they were equipped for natural disasters, their preparations included the following:
- Emergency supplies (for example, flashlights or first-aid kits): 89 percent
- Food stocks: 74 percent
- Creating an evacuation or an emergency plan: 50 percent
- Disaster insurance: 22 percent
Of the 89 percent who had emergency supplies, their supplies included the following:
- Flashlights: 97 percent
- Water: 92 percent
- First-aid kits or medicine: 92 percent
- Sleeping bags or blankets: 83 percent
- Face masks: 18 percent
- Iodine pills: 15 percent
While general preparedness is low, concern and fear over another natural disaster has increased, especially across the Northeast, where 31 percent report that they are “very concerned” following Hurricane Sand, doubled from the previous year’s report of 17 percent concern in polling done after Tropical Storm Irene, the highest percentage in the country.
A lot of people have prognosticated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that this was finally the storm that got everyone’s attention, and that in the future, people will be more prepared for the advent of another natural catastrophe. I’m not so sure. While Sandy’s devastation was massive and destabilizing, only time will tell how New Yorkers will prepare and respond, both personally, and politically, should another superstorm come to wreck our city.