FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Even though 62 percent of Florida residents are aware emergency evacuations routes can change annually, more than one-third (36%) are unsure about their designated evacuation route, shows a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey.
AAA suggests residents check with their local government to see if any changes were made to their evacuation zone, since the zone is what determines when an area is required to evacuate. Although the majority of Florida respondents (89%) said they would follow evacuation warnings, only 40 percent keep an emergency car kit in their vehicle.
"Before evacuating their home, consumers need to take important documents with them such as insurance policies and other household or medical paperwork, as well as valuables, and an inventory of personal items," said Marge Engleman, Sr. Insurance Manager, AAA Auto Club South. "If planning to evacuate, motorists need to be sure they have an emergency car kit in their vehicle to be as prepared as possible when on the road."
While 80 percent of Florida respondents said they prepare for hurricane season, significantly less people keep a plentiful supply of first aid, medical supplies, or medication (68% compared to 78% in 2010), extra food (74% compared to 80% in 2010), and a battery-operated radio (67% compared to 72% in 2010). Yet, more than three-fourths (88%) of Floridia respondents said they keep items on hand such as batteries and flashlights, and extra water (81%).
"Whether evacuating or not, consumers need to have an ample supply of water, food, medical supplies, and prescription medication since there is no way to tell how long one could be without power and other basic necessities," said Engleman. "To make storm preparation and evacuation easier, consumers should make a checklist of needed items and to-dos before the start of hurricane season."