National Survey Shows Nearly 90% of Americans are Unprepared for an Emergency, Disaster or Catastrophe  

 CNN Matthews  

In spite of the recent natural disasters, corresponding media attention and government recommendations, nearly half of Americans report no change in their level of concern about how a disaster might affect them. Americans are still not taking action to prepare themselves for an emergency. 

A national, independent survey from American Family Safety was commissioned to determine how Americans have changed their attitudes toward disaster readiness after recent natural disasters. The survey found that though 85 percent of Americans are concerned about family members in an emergency disaster situation, only 13 percent have an emergency kit with essential supplies. 

"The natural disasters that have occurred this year have shown us that everyone is vulnerable. Thinking ahead increases the chances of surviving an emergency," said Morley Ivers, president of American Family Safety. "There are basic steps that Americans still need to take to increase chances of survival during an emergency, such as assembling or purchasing a disaster readiness kit." 

American Family Safety provides emergency preparedness products and information. Their Ready Kitâ„¢ was designed to meet all the requirements as specified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The American Family Safety Web site,www.americanfamilysafety.com, provides Americans with access to timely emergency preparedness information. 

The survey results showed that many people still do not recognize the threat of natural disasters and the steps they can take to protect themselves. 

Less than half of Americans are more concerned about how they would be affected should a natural disaster occur. The survey found that since the recent occurrences of hurricanes, tornados and other disasters, women (57 percent) are significantly more likely than men (38 percent) to be concerned about how a disaster will affect them as are people who have children in their homes (54 percent compared to 44 percent of those without children living at home). 

Though many Americans surveyed have individual items in their homes such as flashlights and canned food, they do not meet the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) standards of emergency preparedness. For instance, nearly 40 percent lacked enough drinking water that specifically has a 5-year, long-term shelf life. The best chance of increasing survival during an emergency is to have a complete disaster readiness kit including all of the items listed by DHS. 

About the Survey

The survey was conducted November 3-6, 2005 by Opinion Research Corporation among 1,027 adults 18 and older in the continental United States. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for results based on the entire sample. The data was weighted to ensure the results reflect a representative U.S. population in terms of age, gender, geographic region, and ethnicity.

About American Family Safety

American Family Safety is an international corporation that distributes Emergency Preparedness education materials and supplies. The company markets a 72-hour family emergency preparedness product called the Ready Kitâ„¢. American Family Safety was created to further the goals of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to equip Americans with the tools and knowledge needed in case of a disaster or emergency.

The #1 item recommended by FEMA , Red Cross and HomeLand Security is a means of purifying water. Second would be food storage; however. a person can easily live weeks without food, they cannot survive much more than three days without water. They recommend non-electric water distillers over filters.