Planning for Emergencies Begins at Home, But New Survey Shows Many Not Prepared

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Government can only do so much before, during or after an emergency.

We need everyone to be prepared, but a new survey from our Health Department shows a significant portion of our households do not have a communication plan for family members or an emergency supply kit at home.

emergency prep survey numbers

Here are 10 key stats from the Health Department’s survey:

1.) Roughly 60 percent of households have an emergency communication plan.

2.) Some 39 percent have a designated meeting place within the neighborhood.

3.) Only 19 percent have practiced the plan with all members of the household.

4.) About 54 percent of respondents reported keeping an emergency supply kit (with items like flashlights, non-perishable food and drinking water) in the home.

5.) Only 45 percent have a similar supply kit in their vehicle.

6.) Almost 85 percent of respondents would seek information from Fairfax County Government during an emergency, but only 47 percent of households are enrolled in Fairfax Alerts or a similar emergency alerting system.

7.) Nearly 17 percent of residents feel unprepared in the event of a large-scale emergency.

8.) About 91 percent of pet owners surveyed reported they would take their pet with them in the event of an evacuation, but only 40 percent of pet owners have emergency supplies ready for their pets.

9.) In 40 percent of households, someone has taken training in CPR and in 36 percent of households someone has taken training in first aid.

10.) Nearly 30 percent of Fairfax County households do not currently have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Volunteers from the Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps, American Red Cross, and employees from the Health Department spent roughly 40 hours from June 4-16 going door-to-door in randomly selected neighborhoods within Fairfax County. A total of 1,227 households were approached and 253 interviews completed.

“The study is important because it provides us real data specific to residents of Fairfax County that can help shape and direct Fairfax County Government’s preparedness and response efforts,” said Jesse Habourn, a senior emergency planner with the Health Department.

 

What Can Impact Us

There are many types of incidents that can impact us. Here’s a sampling of things we need to be ready for:

  • Floods
  • Hurricanes/tropical storms
  • Derecho storms and tornadoes
  • Blizzards and snowstorms
  • Terrorism
  • Cyber attack

Will you take the time and effort to prepare? Here are some resources to review:

 

Full Study

View the full study

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