The coronavirus pandemic has revealed that the country isn't as prepared for emergencies as the public believes. While individuals and communities have shifted their behavior in major ways to protect themselves from COVID-19, a ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree study has found that Americans are underprepared for the chaos that could result from emergencies, with unique challenges faced by those who live in the 25 largest metros in the country.
According to ValuePenguin.com's analysis:
- Americans Are Stockpiling Food, but Many Forget Water: While more than 8 in 10 Americans follow the federal government's guidelines to stockpile non-perishable food, more than 40% don't have a three day supply of water set aside.
- American's Can't Get By Without Electricity. 61% of Americans would rely on electronic sources, such as televisions and the internet, for important information during an emergency, but just 16% have access to generators for backup power.
- In an Evacuation, Americans Prioritize Their Pets' Safety Over Their Own: While 89% of Americans have a plan in place for their pets if they need to evacuate, only 26% of have identified a meet-up place in the event of an emergency, and about half don't have an emergency evacuation kit ready to go if they had to leave suddenly.
- Most and Least Prepared Metros: Among America's 25 largest metros, the most-prepared for emergencies were flood-prone Houston, Miami and Tampa, as well as Richmond and Oklahoma City — where tornadoes and strong summer storms cause significant damage. The least-prepared metros were Phoenix, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Antonio and Rochester.
- Residents of Major Metros Face Unique Challenges: 30% of New York City Metro area residents don't have access to a car, and will rely heavily on the extensive rail system for transportation. Los Angeles Metro residents are least likely to have access to vital financial information or to have evacuation funds of at least $2,000 — about 30% of residents are unlikely to have these resources on hand.
- How Should Americans Prepare For Emergencies? Stock enough non-perishable food and water to last at least three days in isolation, plan how to communicate and receive information without electricity, and prepare an emergency kit with basic essentials, like a flashlight, batteries, cash, a universal tool, and first-aid supplies. Americans should also have all important financial and identification documents in a box or file that can be evacuated on short notice.
ValuePenguin.com analysts did a deep dive into data from the American Housing Survey to analyze which cities in the country are most prepared for a natural disaster or other emergency. To view the full report, visit: https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-prepared-are-americans-for-emergencies
How Prepared are Residents of America's 25 Largest
New York City
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