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Wednesday, June 20 2018
Just six months after the punishing 2017 season battered the Sunshine State, most Floridians are still not prepared for the potential assault of another hurricane season, according to a survey by the FAIR Foundation.
The survey, released last week and conducted just days after Subtropical Storm Alberto, found that more than three-quarters of Floridians expressed concern about potential hurricanes this year – yet only half have reviewed their home insurance policies to be sure they’re covered.
The survey was conducted June 1 through June 4 from responses through a random sample of registered Florida voters through the Florida Voter File. The survey of 1,000 Floridians found that 76 percent feel very or somewhat concerned about the new hurricane season. Only 5 percent said they are not at all concerned.
Among Florida voters who own their homes, 50 percent have reviewed their homeowners insurance policy since last hurricane season and about 21 percent had updated it. Thirty percent of respondents said they had done neither.
“Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year should have been enough to convince every Floridian of the vital importance of preparing for the worst – but it doesn’t seem that’s really happened,” said Guy McClurkan, executive director for the FAIR Foundation. “The 2018 hurricane season is already off to a fast start, so it’s crucial that everyone review their family’s safety and evacuation plans, check their insurance coverage and consider purchasing separate flood insurance, since floods aren’t covered by a typical homeowners policy.”
The most recent survey also found that Floridians are more focused on their safety and comfort at home following a significant storm event, further emphasizing the need for home hardening and other preparations.
Asked which conveniences they would choose to have in the four days following a hurricane, most chose a refrigerator (74 percent) over a fully charged cell phone (26 percent) and air conditioning (77 percent) over a fully charged cell phone (23 percent). An even larger majority – 83 percent – would prefer internet access rather than cable television access (17 percent). That sentiment was echoed through all age groups, from 92 percent among millennials to 88 percent among those ages 35 to 54 and 74 percent among those ages 55 and older.
The FAIR Foundation said it urges Florida residents to prepare well in advance for the unknown. The Florida-based organization said a separate survey it commissioned in December for the National Hurricane Survival Initiative found that 64 percent of those who attempted to purchase flood insurance as Hurricane Irma headed for Florida were unable to do so.
“You simply can’t wait until the last minute as the storm approaches – not to prepare your home, and not to secure flood insurance to cover losses your regular homeowners policy won’t,” McClurkan said. “Even though hurricane season has already begun, it’s not too late to get ready and get yourself, your family, and your home protected.”
FAIR Foundation has launched Get Ready, Florida! – an on-going statewide initiative to spur awareness, involvement, and action by Floridians targeting hurricane-safety. The campaign features hurricane safety checklists and a television special with information for Floridians.
The FAIR Foundation, an affiliate of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization educates consumers on the risks of water, wind and other natural disasters, promoting wind and flood mitigation and reducing uninsured risk.