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Hurricane preparedness survey: Worries about drinking water and medical care
Date:7/23/2008

to other respondents, those coping with a chronic illness or disability in the household are less prepared for a major hurricane and are more worried about a number of storm related problems. The survey found that 14% of residents of high-risk hurricane areas live in households in which someone has a chronic illness or disability that would require them to get help in order to evacuate. Of this group, 43% do not have help lined up. Seventeen percent are not prepared at all for a major hurricane in the next six months compared to 9% of others. They are also less likely to have a three week supply of the prescription drugs they take (39% compared to 30% of others) and have a first aid kit (30% compared to 20%). (See Figure 4.)

Evacuation shelters could also be faced with the challenges of supporting people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. If they get the help they need to evacuate, respondents living in households in which someone has a chronic illness/disability are more likely to go to a shelter (22% compared to 10% of others). The unique needs of families with a chronic illness/disability are evident in their storm-related concerns. They are more likely to be very worried about getting needed medical care (50% compared to 28%), suffering from heat exhaustion (45% compared to 23%), having enough fresh water to drink (41% compared to 27%), and having necessary prescription drugs (41% compared to 19%).

"This study shows that if nothing is done, thousands of people with chronic illnesses and disabilities could be stuck in their homes during a major hurricane," said Professor Blendon. "Preparing now for evacuating these groups could prevent future tragedies."

Mobile Home Residents

Despite the increased risk to mobile home residents during a hurricane, 17% say they would not evacuate in the event of a major storm if officials told them to do so. Nearly one in four (23%) think their home could survive a category 3 or hig
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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-3952
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

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