Booz Allen Hamilton/Ipsos Study on Community Resilience

Blizzards and Floods Are the Disasters Americans Feel Most Prepared For

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  • Jason McGrath Senior Vice President, Head of US Corporate Reputation
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Washington, D.C. - A new Ipsos Public Affairs survey on Community Resilience for Booz Allen Hamilton shows that 19% of Americans feel very prepared and 51% feel somewhat prepared for an emergency in their community. Those who report having experienced a disaster in the past five years show greater levels of preparedness with 35% saying they are very prepared and 48% saying they are somewhat prepared. Florida residents are significantly more likely to report having experienced a disaster in the past five years (82%) compared to the national population (33%). However, while California and Texas are typically believed to be more disaster-prone states, respondents in these two states (30% and 38%, respectively) are about as likely as the national population to report having experienced a disaster. The online survey was conducted March 23-28, 2018 with a national sample of 1,004 U.S. adults aged 18 and older and additional samples of 250 adults each in California, Florida, and Texas.    

These are some of the other key findings:

  • Nationally, respondents feel most prepared for blizzards, floods, and hurricanes. Residents of California, Florida and Texas indicate greater preparation for the types of disasters that are more common locally. Florida residents are much more prepared for hurricanes than others, California residents are most prepared for earthquakes, and residents in Texas are most prepared for floods. 
  • Although 25% of national respondents indicate that they feel prepared for shootings, this is also the disaster for which the general population respondents feel least prepared. Respondents also feel least prepared for weather disasters that are uncommon in their region (e.g., blizzards in Florida, hurricanes in California, etc.) – mostly because these are emergencies that have not happened before in their community, or are out of their control.
  • Food and water are the top items Americans have on-hand for emergencies, and Florida residents are more likely to have items on-hand in preparation for a disaster. Fewer than half of the national respondents have emergency responder contact info, evacuation routes, or shelter locations.
  • The U.S. public would rely most heavily on traditional means of communications, such as radio and TV, in the event of an emergency, as opposed to social media channels or online sources. Technology is recognized as playing an important role in disaster preparedness and for first responders. However, nearly one-third of those surveyed nationally disagree that they would rely heavily on social media for information during a disaster, though websites and other online resources would be more relied on. Respondents would also prefer a text messaging service that provides updates on disasters.

About this Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted March 23-28, 2018. For the survey, a national sample of 1,004 adults aged 18 and older and additional samples of 250 adults each in California, Florida, and Texas was interviewed online in English. 

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online nonprobability sampling polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for results at the national level and of +/- 6.5 for each of California, Florida, and Texas. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (SAMPLE SIZE, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=ADJUSTED CI). 

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Jason McGrath
Senior Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected] 

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.


The author(s)

  • Jason McGrath Senior Vice President, Head of US Corporate Reputation

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