Today’s headline from a Harvard School of Public Health press release is “Survey of Hurricane Preparedness Finds One-Third on High Risk Coast Will Refuse Evacuation Order.”
The survey was conducted in eight coastal states from Texas to North Carolina and only included residents within 20 miles of the coast.
Some of the top reasons people give for not evacuating include 1) feeling their home is well-built and they would be safe there, 2) roads would be too crowded, 3) evacuating would be dangerous, 4) worry about possessions being stolen, and 5) not wanting to leave their pets. All of these are legitimate concerns and must be addressed in any individual hurricane plan.
However, I found the most disturbing response in the survey to be the fact that one in three Floridians don’t know if their home is in an evacuation zone.
One of the first steps in any hurricane plan is deciding whether to evacuate or stay put.
No one should wait until an actual hurricane threat to find out if you will be asked to evacuate or not.
Residents of Broward and Miami-Dade County can look in their phone book or go online to find out if they are in a storm surge evacuation zone. Here are links to find yours: Broward Hurricane Zones and Miami Hurricane Zones. Go to Local10.com’s Hurricane page to find shelters. See The List Here.
Monroe County evacuation areas will not have shelters open during major hurricanes.
In addition to folks in storm surge evacuation zones, people in mobile homes will also likely be asked to evacuate. The bottom line: listen to and heed the advice from local officials.
The complete Harvard report can be found online by clicking here.