1-in-4 Floridians would ignore hurricane evacuation orders, survey finds

2-in-5 would only leave homes for Category 3 or higher, AAA says

The people who would not leave their homes listed a variety of reasons, according to AAA.

At least a quarter of Floridians would ignore orders to evacuate in the event of a hurricane, according to a new survey from AAA.

The survey also found that of those who would leave their homes, about two-in-five said they would only do so for a Category 3 storm or stronger.

[TRENDING: Police snipers protect Florida divers during water rescue in alligator-infested pond | Odds continue to increase for development of tropical system in Gulf | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The people who would not leave their homes listed a variety of reasons, according to AAA. Those include:

  • Can’t bring pets/don’t have a safe option for them (30%)
  • Don’t know where to go (28%)
  • In case there’s damage to my home/property that I can fix (25%)
  • Financial reasons (e.g. can’t afford a hotel – 23%)

Some also pointed to inflation as a reason to stay home during a dangerous storm. About two-in-five people said high gas prices would make them less willing to evacuate. As of this report, the state average for a gallon of gasoline is $4.57, according to AAA.

“A lot of people can’t afford right now to leave,” driver Nikolas Garlini said.

Another driver pumping gas Tuesday, Anette DiMauro said she’s no longer driving her daughters across the country for summer vacation.

“I would hunker down in our new house,” said the Palm Bay mother about an evacuation order.

The survey also shows that 27% of Floridians are more concerned about this hurricane season than the last one. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an “above normal” season and forecasting 14-21 named storms in 2022. Of those, six to 10 could be hurricanes, including three to six possible major hurricanes, meaning category 3 or higher.

Brevard County spokesperson Don Walker said families struggling financially could choose to drive shorter distances if ordered to evacuate.

“Evacuate tens of miles, not hundreds of miles,” said the county’s communications director.

Walker said there’s still time to prepare for families who haven’t started building a supply kit yet.

“You’ve got the weeks during the six-month hurricane season to continue adding to your kit so in the event that there is a hurricane, you’ll have the supplies that you need on hand,” he said.

Nearly a third of Floridians, 29%, do not do any storm preps and nearly half, 44%, do not have an evacuation plan, according to AAA.

Join News 6 Wednesday at 7 p.m. for an hour-long Hurricane special aimed at helping you get prepared of any storms.

Our team of meteorologists will also take part in a special live Q&A on ClickOrlando.com starting at 8 p.m. To take part in the Q&A event, you must first sign up to be a News 6 Insider. It’s free to join. Click here to sign up.

About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.