More than one in four Americans ignore evacuation orders, most don’t have disaster plan, survival kit


There is a clear opportunity for people across the country to better understand the importance of following evacuation protocols.

One in four (21 percent) of Americans have had their homes damaged by a natural disaster and the year 2011 usered in the greatest number of natural disasters since 1953, but more than one in four (27 percent) would stay put if ordered to evacuate when disaster looms.

“There is a clear opportunity for people across the country to better understand the importance of following evacuation protocols,” said Mike Roche, Allstate’s executive vice president of claims.

“Preparation is a family’s best defense against a natural disaster,” said Roche.

According to an Allstate survey, even more Americans, 46 percent haven’t discussed or thought about a family evacuation plan or meeting place away from the home.

Preparation can be key to survival.

There’s more bad news that’ll get worse should disaster hit.

Most Americans, 62 percent, also have not prepared an emergency kit.

Experts say families should always put together a well-stocked, first-aid kit (with any prescription drugs) as well as a disaster-supply or emergency kit that’s kept in an easy-to-access location. The disaster-supply kit should contain a supply of water and ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods, a weather radio, traveler’s checks or cash, important papers, personal hygiene items, blankets, extra clothes and shoes.

Fifty-six percent of homeowners and renters say they have not made a home inventory list of their personal belongings – a document that’s crucial for insurance claims. A room-by-room inventory, as well as photographs or videos of personal belongings can help cut through red tape when it’s time to file a claim.

“Being aware of risks and hazards and taking steps to prepare can reduce the impacts of damage from disasters,” said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate.

For more information, see: FEMA’s Plan, Prepare & Mitigate web page.

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