National Hurricane Survival Initiative Poll

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Release date: 
May 10, 2000
Release Number: 
HQ-00-069poll

This summary presents the results of two separate polls, using the same questionnaire, conducted in April and May 2000 by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates of Washington, DC to assess the knowledge and level of preparedness of homeowners in hurricane vulnerable states.

  • May 2000: 1,037 telephone interviews among homeowners in coastal and adjacent counties in eight southern states (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas). The margin of error for the study is ? 3.1% at the 95% confidence level. A total of 150 interviews was conducted in all states except Alabama and Mississippi, where only 50 interviews each were conducted.

  • April 2000: 250 telephone interviews among homeowners in coastal counties in six northern states (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island). The margin of error for the study is ? 6.2% at the 95% confidence level. The study was stratified by household population (by county).

The major conclusions of the study are as follows:

  1. Homeowners in the South are much more concerned about hurricanes than homeowners in the North, but the level of perceived risk of hurricanes in both areas is low given the actual threat: homeowners in the North perceive the risk to be minor and homeowners in the South perceive the risk to be moderate.

  2. There is a disconnect between perceived level of preparedness and actual level of preparedness: Homeowners in Northern and Southern coastal communities think they are well-prepared for a hurricane but are not well-prepared.

  3. There is a disconnect between perceived level of knowledge and actual level of knowledge: Homeowners in Northern and Southern coastal communities think they are well-informed about hurricanes but lack a thorough knowledge of hurricanes.

  4. There is a perception among a significant percentage of homeowners in both the South and the North that it is too expensive take preventive actions to reduce the impact of a hurricane on their homes, but this belief is due in large part to a lack of awareness of how much these preventive measures cost. When informed of the cost, half or more of homeowners in the South and North say they are likely to spend the money.

  5. Homeowners in the South are more likely to get personally involved in hurricane prevention that homeowners in the North.

1. Homeowners in the South are much more concerned about hurricanes than homeowners in the North, but the level of perceived risk of hurricanes in both areas is low given the actual threat: homeowners in the North perceive the risk to be minor and homeowners in the South perceive the risk to be moderate.

  • Although the level of concern about a hurricane striking their community is twice as high in the South (78%) compared to the North (35%), only one-third (35%) of homeowners in the South and 9% of homeowners in the North are VERY concerned.

  • Although 81% of homeowners in the South and 50% of homeowners in the North say that it is likely their community will be impacted by a hurricane in the next 5 years, only one-third (35%) of homeowners in the South and 16% of homeowners in the North say that it is VERY likely.

  • Although 79% of homeowners in the South and 46% of homeowners in the North say their community is at risk for a hurricane, only 29% of homeowners in the South and 5% of homeowners in the North say that their community is at GREAT risk, as compared to SOME risk (50% in the South, 41% in the North).

Polling results suggest that residents underestimate the very real danger a SEVERE hurricane would pose to their communities, especially in Northern coastal communities and certain Southern states. ...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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