This GOES East satellite image taken Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean as it threatens the U.S. East Coast, including Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina. Millions of Americans are preparing for what could be one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades. Mandatory evacuations begin at noon Tuesday, for parts of the Carolinas and Virginia (NOAA via AP)

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.

Author: AAA
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