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Survey: Many Floridians Say They Would Ignore Official Evacuation Warnings During A Hurricane

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Staring down Hurricane Florence, September 12th, 2018. Photo: Alexander Gerst, ESA- NASA

Hurricane season starts this Saturday, and most Florida residents say they are worried. But according to a new AAA survey, 21% say they would ignore official evacuation warnings. Of those who would evacuate, over half say they would leave only for a Category 3 hurricane or greater.

AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins says sometimes people choose not to evacuate for economic reasons. 

“What you tend to hear is that people are just either afraid to leave their home or they just can’t afford to evacuate. By and large, we just recommend that people consider their safety and make that the top priority. You know, you can rebuild a home, but you can’t rebuild your life.”

Jenkins says now is the time to put together a hurricane plan.

“You don’t want to be looking up all this information at the last minute, as the storm is approaching, the better things are going to be for you later when the storm arrives. Because things can get kind of chaotic when evacuation warnings start coming in and you don’t want to have to be looking up all of this information at the last minute as the storm is approaching.” 

The online survey of 400 Florida residents was conducted in early April.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts two to four major hurricanes this season, reaching a Category 3 or higher.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »