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One Year After Superstorm Sandy, Americans’ Concern About Disasters Remains High, But Preparedness Is Low

Even though more than half of Americans have been impacted by a natural disaster and understand the risks they face, many have not taken basic precautions to protect themselves and their property from danger and damage. A new study released today by MetLife Auto & Home® reveals Americans’ lack of preparedness and their misunderstanding about how to prepare for and recover from disasters.

Among those who say they are unprepared for a natural disaster, 62 percent felt immunity to looming danger and did not think one would happen to them. Further, 20 percent of consumers in high risk areas 1 admit taking no precautions in the last year to prepare for a disaster. And, even in high risk areas, many people who say they are concerned about a natural disaster still do not take action to prepare.

  • In states at high risk for earthquakes 2, two-thirds (67 percent) say they are concerned about the issue, but just half (53 percent) say they are prepared;
  • In states at high risk for wildfires 3, 42 percent say they are concerned about impact from a fire, yet just 30 percent are prepared;
  • In high risk states for hurricanes 4, 55 percent say they are concerned about a storm, and 49 percent say they are prepared.

“Awareness and preparation are key components of mastering disaster, and it’s clear that even those who reside in disaster-prone areas – some of whom have recently been through significant events -- admit they’re still not prepared,” said Mike Convery, chief claims officer, MetLife Auto & Home. “Investing time in preparing can be the single most effective measure people can take to protect their loved ones and property. Creating an emergency evacuation / supplies kit and updating it each year may help keep you and your loved ones safe during or following a disaster.”

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