Survey finds holes in U.S. disaster preparedness - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Survey finds holes in U.S. disaster preparedness

New York_In a disaster such as an earthquake or terrorist attack, nearly two-thirds of U.S. parents would disregard orders to evacuate and would rush to pick up their kids from school, according to a new survey.

The survey found that 63% of parents would ignore orders to evacuate and instead attempt to reunite with their children, possibly hindering rescue efforts by adding to traffic congestion.

The authors of the study, released Thursday on the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, said that despite years of government efforts to enhance disaster preparedness, schools need to do more to plan for disasters and parents need to be made aware of the plans.

The report was commissioned by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Children's Health Fund.

Among parents of school-age children, 45% said they do not know the location where their children would be evacuated as part of the school's disaster plan.

"There should be an outcry from parents to push their schools and their school districts to develop a plan that makes sense," said Irwin Redlener, associate dean for public health preparedness at Columbia and president of the Children's Health Fund.

The federal Department of Homeland Security has allocated billions of dollars to help state and local governments set up disaster contingency plans.

But just 44% of the U.S. residents surveyed this year said they have all or some of the basic elements of a disaster preparedness plan, including food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries and a meeting place in case of evacuation.

The survey has been administered annually since 2002 by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The telephone survey of 1,579 adults was conducted between July 25 and Aug. 9. The margin of error for the entire survey was 2.5 percentage points. The margin of error for the subset of households with children was 4 percentage points.

Parents said Thursday they were not surprised by the finding that most of them would disregard evacuation orders and pick up their children.

Diana Ennen, of Margate, Florida, is the author of "The Home Office Recovery Plan: Disaster Preparedness for Your Home-Based Business" and a mother of three.

"As a mom, you wouldn't be able to keep me away from picking up my children," she said in an e-mail. "My first instinct would be to get them at all costs. I would literally run the entire distance to get them. I believe most parents would feel the same."

Karen Matthews, AP Writer, Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

    Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 17:43:15 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:12 AM EDT2018-05-24 08:12:25 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

  • North Korea slams Pence as summit with Trump grows shakier

    North Korea slams Pence as summit with Trump grows shakier

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:51 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:51:44 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:02 AM EDT2018-05-24 08:02:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.
  • Syria state-run media reports US-led airstrike on army posts

    Syria state-run media reports US-led airstrike on army posts

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:11 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:11:43 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:53 AM EDT2018-05-24 07:53:52 GMT
    A Pentagon spokesman said there was "no information" to confirm or deny the reports. (Source: Raycom Media)A Pentagon spokesman said there was "no information" to confirm or deny the reports. (Source: Raycom Media)

    Syrian government-run media outlet is reporting that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have struck Syrian army positions in eastern Syria near the front lines with the Islamic State group.

    Syrian government-run media outlet is reporting that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes have struck Syrian army positions in eastern Syria near the front lines with the Islamic State group.

Powered by Frankly