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Nearly 1 in 4 Floridians would not follow hurricane evacuation warnings, AAA says

Hurricane Ian satellite image, showing the storm over Cuba
NASA Worldview
Earth Observing System Data And Information System (EOSDIS) Via AP
This satellite image released by NASA shows Hurricane Ian growing stronger as it barreled toward Cuba.

New findings from AAA’s annual hurricane season survey show 19% of Floridians do not prepare ahead of time for hurricane season or severe weather.

New findings from AAA’s annual hurricane season survey show 24% of Floridians would not evacuate their home during a hurricane if given warning.

Of those who do evacuate, more than half of Floridians — or 58% — said they wouldn’t leave their homes unless a hurricane was a Category 3 or stronger, according to AAA’s Consumer Pulse Survey. It also shows 19% of Floridians do not prepare ahead of time for hurricane season or severe weather.

Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA, said staying put during a deadly storm isn’t worth the risk.

“Take steps now to develop an evacuation plan for your family and pets,” Jenkins said in the release. “If you’re worried about property damage, contact your insurance advisor. Having adequate coverage will give you the peace-of-mind in knowing that anything damaged while you’re gone can be repaired or replaced.”

The survey also included reasons why Floridians would not evacuate in the event of a hurricane. Here’s what respondents said:

  • 40% want to stay in case there’s damage to their home or property that they can fix
  • 30% can’t bring their pets or don’t have a safe option for them
  • 22% believe the storm will turn away from them
  • 18% don’t know where to go
  • 17% are scared of looting after the storm
  • 15% stay for financial reasons
  • 8% stay because they or a family member are unable to travel
  • 9% stay because gas is too expensive
  • 2% are afraid they’ll lose their job
  • 17% stay for other reasons

Floridians also showed varying levels of concern for this year’s hurricane season. Twenty-two percent of Floridians said they were more concerned about 2023’s season compared to last year, according to the survey, while 74% said they have the same level of concern. Only 4% said they’re less concerned than 2022’s season.

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