Survey Shows Floridians Still Not Adequately Preparing for Hurricane Season
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A survey at the start of hurricane season reveals that just six months after the punishing 2017 season battered the Sunshine State, most Floridians are still not prepared for the potential assault of another hurricane season. The survey by the FAIR Foundation, conducted just days after Subtropical Storm Alberto rattled nerves across the state, found that more than three-quarters of Floridians expressed concern about potential hurricanes this year – yet only half have reviewed their home insurance policies to be sure they’re covered.
The survey launched on June 1, the first day of this year’s hurricane season and a week after Alberto drenched the Florida Panhandle. Though forecasters and former FEMA Administrator and host of Get Ready, Florida! Craig Fugate predict that this year may be another hyperactive storm season, the survey of 1,000 Floridians found that 76% feel very or somewhat concerned about the new hurricane season. Only 5% said they are not at all concerned.
“Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year should have been enough to convince every Floridian of the vital importance of preparing for the worst – but it doesn’t seem that’s really happened,” said Guy McClurkan, Executive Director for the FAIR Foundation. “The 2018 hurricane season is already off to a fast start, so it’s crucial that everyone review their family’s safety and evacuation plans, check their insurance coverage and consider purchasing separate flood insurance, since floods aren’t covered by a typical homeowners policy.”
The most recent survey also found that Floridians are more focused on their safety and comfort at home following a significant storm event, further emphasizing the need for home hardening and other preparations.
Asked which conveniences they would choose to have in the four days following a hurricane, most chose a refrigerator (74%) over a fully charged cell phone (26%) and air conditioning (77%) over a fully charged cell phone (23%). An even larger majority would prefer internet access (83%) rather than cable television access (17%) – and that sentiment runs strongly through all age groups, from 92% among millennials to 88% among those ages 35-54 and 74% among those ages 55 and older.
The FAIR Foundation urges Florida residents to prepare well in advance for the unknown. The Florida-based organization works to educate and empower consumers, promote wind and flood mitigation, and reduce uninsured risk. Toward that objective, the FAIR Foundation commissioned a separate survey in December for the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, which found that 64% of those who attempted to purchase flood insurance as Hurricane Irma headed for Florida were unable to do so.
“You simply can’t wait until the last minute as the storm approaches – not to prepare your home, and not to secure flood insurance to cover losses your regular homeowners policy won’t,” McClurkan said. “Even though hurricane season has already begun, it’s not too late to get ready and get yourself, your family, and your home protected.”
Get Ready, Florida!
An on-going, comprehensive statewide initiative to spur awareness, involvement, and action by Floridians in a new culture of hurricane-safety. To download hurricane safety checklists or watch the 2018 television special visit GetReadyFlorida.org.
About the FAIR Foundation
The FAIR Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was conceived to create safer, stronger and more resilient communities by educating consumers on the risks of water, wind and other natural disasters, promoting wind and flood mitigation and reducing uninsured risk. The Foundation’s work enables and promotes practical solutions and protections by bringing consumers together with the best and brightest in industry and academia.
Visit fairfound.org for more information.