News| Hurricane Katrina | Survey: Blacks Not Prepared For Natural Disasters

News| Hurricane Katrina | Survey: Blacks Not Prepared For Natural Disasters

Published February 11, 2008

Posted June 5, 2006 – At the dawn of hurricane season, Americans aren’t as prepared as they think they are, and fewer African Americans in general are taking the proper precautions, according to a new survey by the American Red Cross.

Although most Americans think they are prepared for a hurricane or other disaster, the new poll released last Thursday by the American Red Cross showed most have not taken even the basic steps needed to prepare for a disaster or emergency situation.

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While seven of 10 respondents said they were somewhat prepared, the poll shows that most people still need to take the basic steps to form their family disaster plan.

And with the June 1 start of the Hurricane season, African Americans are 44 percent more likely to expect a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane in their community in the next two years, compared to 34 percent of whites, the survey found. Still, 19 percent of African Americans say they are not at all prepared, compared to just 10 percent of whites.

“We are concerned that this poll shows people think they are somewhat prepared – when in fact they are not as prepared as they need to be,” said Keith Robertory, disaster preparedness expert at the American Red Cross. “A little planning can truly increase the safety of you and your loved ones during an emergency - and reduce a disaster’s overall impact. People need to become aware of the disasters that can disrupt their community, create a plan for how they will handle these events, and gather the necessary supplies by building a disaster supplies kit to carry out the plan.”

Respondents in the southern U.S. (60 percent) were most likely to have a disaster kit, while those in the north central U.S. were least likely (42 percent).

The poll also showed that many people do not prepare because they either do not have enough time or do not think it is important.

The Red Cross urges individuals, businesses and families across the country to contact their local Red Cross chapter or go online to to find a complete list of emergency and disaster preparedness tips, plans and kit supply lists to get prepared.

When you hear of a hurricane or other disasters brewing, do you take the basic steps needed to prepare?  Click "Discuss Now" to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff


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