Find AARP Florida's Hurricane Ian Resources Here
Significantly fewer Floridians age 45+ have a natural disaster emergency plan, according to a recently released survey report from AARP fielded over the summer. While 75% of respondents reported having a plan in 2019, only 67% said the same in 2022. The decline in preparedness is most pronounced among homeowners, decreasing from 71% to 55%, those with annual household incomes of less than $50,000 (down from 71% to 59%) and individuals ages 45-49 (down from 74% to 58%).
AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said, “With a State of Emergency declared in all 67 counties as Hurricane Ian barrels toward Florida, we should all be reminded: it is extremely important for Floridians to have an updated disaster plan each year at the beginning of storm season, starting June 1, and to continue to monitor activity and update those plans as needed throughout the storm season ending November 30.
“AARP Florida is proactive in raising awareness about the importance of effective preparation each year, and the findings of the latest AARP survey indicating a significant drop in natural disaster emergency plans is concerning. While we intended to release this survey’s results later in the fall, this warning cannot wait. We urge Floridians to get their emergency plans in place now.
“As Floridians, we know it only takes one storm to drastically change lives forever. Proper preparedness and a disaster plan can minimize damage to your property and ensure your family’s safety. AARP Florida offers a robust collection of resources designed for older adults and their families to get prepared, so they will be ready when disaster strikes. I encourage all Floridians to check out these resources and visit us at aarp.org/fldisasterhelp.”
The survey also indicated an increase in plans to shelter in place instead of evacuating (up from 55% in 2019 to 61% in 2022). This may be due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to public shelters remains important as do concerns about rebounding financially from the cost of planning and damages from a natural disaster, exacerbated by the excessive cost of homeowner’s insurance.
These findings come from the AARP Vital Voices Survey, which is fielded every three years. The 2022 Vital Voices Survey included interviews with 1,005 residents of Florida age 45+ between July 11, 2022, and August 3, 2022. The full Vital Voices Survey Report will be available later this fall.
AARP Florida Disaster Help:
For other resources and information, visit aarp.org/fldisasterhelp, which offers downloadable checklists, scam protection and prevention tips, and insight on the importance of assignment of benefits when looking to repair hurricane-damaged homes and other homeowner insurance considerations.
AARP Florida Disaster Preparedness Videos
- Disaster Supply Checklist
- How to Prepare your Home for Hurricane Season (En Español)
- Review Insurance and Other Documentation before Hurricane Season (En Español)
- When to Evacuate, Options and Shelters (En Español)
AARP Florida Generator Safety Videos:
Read our latest coverage of disaster preparedness on AARP Florida’s Blog:
Are Florida Long-Term Care Facilities Prepared for Natural Disasters?
Statewide emergency contact database was the brainchild of a grieving mother