How Prepared Is Your Community for an Emergency? New Survey Results Suggest Some Communities Are More Prepared Than Others.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released data showing how Americans in different parts of the country have taken measures to prepare for natural disasters or other emergencies. Disaster preparedness questions were a new addition to the 2013 American Housing Survey, intended to assist policymakers and emergency responders with planning. The Census Bureau recently published results for 25 metro areas participating in the survey, which is conducted biennially.

"Residents in coastal areas were more likely to have taken steps to prepare for emergencies, likely stemming from greater awareness and risks in those regions. About 70 percent of surveyed households, for example, reported having prepared emergency kits in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood metro areas of Florida. By comparison, only 41 percent of households had kits in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.Some communities have formed Citizen Corps groups to coordinate activities aimed at emergency preparedness and disaster response efforts. Local councils assist with community outreach and implement local strategies incorporating governments, citizens and volunteer organizations. In November, more than 1,400 Georgia schools held tornado drills, according to FEMA." (