AAA says nearly half of residents not prepared for hurricane

Majority of residents do not have flood insurance

AAA: Nearly half of residents are not prepared for a hurricane.
AAA: Nearly half of residents are not prepared for a hurricane. (AAA)

TAMPA, Fla. – A recent AAA survey shows that only 42 percent of residents in Florida and Georgia do not make advanced preparation for hurricane season.

If a named storm caused an evacuation warning, nearly 1 in 5, or 18 percent, of residents say they would not leave their homes. However, of those who would evacuate, half say they would only leave for a category 3 hurricane or greater.

"Residents should stay vigilant and be prepared for a major weather event," said Gene Calkins, vice-president of Insurance Agency, AAA The Auto Club Group. "Part of that preparation includes having a storm kit, evacuation plan and proper insurance coverage, which includes flood insurance. Every home is in a flood zone, whether you live near the coast or not."

[LINK: View AAA Flood Facts]

Only 1-in-5, or 20 percent, of residents in Florida and Georgia have flood insurance, which is separate from homeowners insurance, even with floods being the No. 1 disaster in the United States.

[LINK: Check the flood risk in your neighborhood]

A lot of people also wait until it's too late to get flood insurance. "The majority of residents in the southern U.S. do not know there is normally a 30-day waiting period for a new flood policy to take effect," Calkins said. "If you wait until a storm is named and heading your direction, you will be too late. Now is a great time to check with your insurance agent to ensure you are covered."

AAA offers these hurricane preparation tips:

  • Secure Your Home – Inspect your home for minor repairs needed to roof, windows, down spouts, etc. Trim trees or bushes that could cause damage to your home in case of high winds.
  • Make a Plan – Develop a Family Emergency Plan to include ways to contact each other, alternative meeting locations, and an out-of-town contact person. Identify a safe room or safest areas in your home. Research your evacuation route. Be sure and include plans for your pets.
  • Take Inventory – Update your home inventory by walking through your home with a video camera or smart phone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, when purchased and model and serial numbers as available.
  • Stock Emergency Supplies – Plan for a week's worth of non-perishable food and water. Be sure and have flashlights, extra batteries, battery-powered radio, medications, first aid kit, blankets, toiletries, diapers, etc. You may also want to prepare a portable kit and keep in your car should you evacuate.
  • Check Your Vehicle: Make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas, properly inflated tires and ensure your wiper blades are not leaving streaks. Have your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic to determine the brakes, fluid levels, air conditioning and belts are in good working condition.  
  • Protect Your Property – Review your homeowners insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection. Discuss your deductibles. Be aware that flood insurance in not typically covered under your homeowners policy. Flooding to your automobile is available under the Physical Damage coverage.

Statistical Statement

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Florida and Georgia from April 15 - 26, 2015. A total of 805 residents completed the survey. Overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age within state to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida and Georgia. The overall survey has maximum margin of error of ± 3.5 percentage points. 

AAA Statistics
AAA Statistics