Survey says Floridians 42% less likely to evacuate due to COVID-19
As hurricane season gets underway, Floridians are increasingly concerned about the idea of evacuating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a AAA survey, nearly a third (31%) of Floridians are more concerned about the 2020 hurricane season than they were last year. Two-of-five people (42%) say they are less likely to evacuate for a storm this year for fear of contracting the coronavirus. In fact, more than a quarter of residents (29%) say they would not leave their homes if they were warned to evacuate.
FEMA has provided guidelines for those preparing for hurricane season during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“The coronavirus just complicates matters even more for those preparing for what is forecast to be an active hurricane season,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA urges families to develop an emergency plan now. Your plan should include several evacuation destinations, in case a shelter or hotel is closed due to the pandemic. Also, be sure to utilize the 7-day tax-free holiday to assemble a supply kit. This year’s kits should include cleaning supplies, to provide peace-of-mind for evacuees.”
Coronavirus aside, residents’ decision to evacuate often depends on the severity of the storm. Of those who would evacuate, four-of-five people (80%) would leave for a Category 2 hurricane or greater.
What category hurricane would Floridians evacuate for?
Category 1: 74-95 mph winds — 8%*
Category 2: 96-110 mph winds — 23%
Category 3: 111-129 mph winds — 29%
Category 4: 130-156 mph winds — 19%
Category 5: >= 157 mph winds — 9%
Did not know: — 12%
*Percentage denotes minimum strength of a storm that would cause them to evacuate.