Poll: 78% of Americans Aren’t Prepared for a Disaster When it Comes to Food and Water
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- When the world was hit with the COVID-19 crisis, the panic buying at the local grocery store highlighted how unprepared Americans are when it comes to food, water, and essentials. Now that we’re entering Hurricane season, it’s doubly important to remind people about disaster preparedness.
New national polling, commissioned by DisasterChecklist.org and conducted by Engine Group, shines a light on America’s lack of preparedness. Out of the more than 1,000 people polled, 78 percent of respondents didn’t have enough water and/or canned goods at the start of quarantine to adequately meet their needs. Among 18 to 34-year-olds, it was even higher: 88 percent.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Americans need to have one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days at any given moment. Additionally, water needs can double depending on the climate. Non-perishable food supplies are also important. In case of an emergency, people should have a three-day supply of food.
When asked about the items believed to be most important during emergencies, 71 percent of respondents said canned food and 70 percent said bottled water. 41 percent thought first aid kits were amongst the most important and 39 percent said toilet paper was one of the most essential items. (Certainly, they are all important.) Between canned goods and bottled water, the latter was sought out more, with 61 percent of all respondents reporting they purchased water.
“The poll results, combined with the panic buying and the empty shelves we all saw at the grocery store in April show that we are not prepared as a country for disasters,” said Jim Bowers, spokesperson for DisasterChecklist.org. “Having enough bottled water and non-perishable food on hand for your family should be a priority for everyone.”
Full poll results are available here.
In response to the survey and hoarding seen following the outbreak of COVID-19, the nonprofit DisasterChecklist.org released a television PSA, encouraging people to be prepared and respectful to others at the grocery store by only buying the supplies you need. DisasterChecklist.org contains resources on how to properly create a supply kit, evacuation plan, and more.