WNYC/Harris Poll: If Disaster Comes, Could You Weather The Storm?

Published by The Takeaway |

Harvey made landfall as a Hurricane last Friday and left a trail of devastation across Texas and the Gulf Coast. It’s being called a “1,000 year flood event” by scientists at the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center.

It’s the type of disaster few people could ever really prepare for. In the months and weeks ahead the price tag of the damage will become apparent for millions of people across the state. But financial vulnerability is exposed not only during catastrophic events like Harvey, but often times in the unexpected turns of daily life.  In 2015, 46 percent of Americans said that they did not have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency, according to the Federal Reserve’s annual economic well being of U.S. households.

Here are some key findings from The Takeaway-Harris Poll, which surveyed 2,163 American adults between August 29 and August 31, 2017.

Americans are split on whether they are prepared for a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Harvey.

      • 50 percent say they are very/somewhat prepared, while the other half say not at all/not too prepared.
      • Only 10 percent of adults feel they are very prepared for a natural disaster.
      • Those in the South are significantly more likely to say they’re prepared compared to any other region.
      • Older Americans are more likely to be prepared compared to their younger counterparts. Inversely, younger Americans are more likely to say they’re not prepared.
      • Thinking specifically of whether they’re prepared for a long-term power outage or other disaster that requires supplies, such as food and water, for three days, levels of preparedness jump to 57 percent (18 percent very prepared), with 41 percent unprepared.

Read more and listen at WNYC’s The Takeaway