Survey: COVID-19 Makes Many Floridians Less Likely To Evacuate During Severe Weather

Jun 2, 2020
Originally published on June 2, 2020 3:54 pm

A new AAA survey released Monday found that 42% of Floridians interviewed by the auto club group said they would be less likely to evacuate for a storm this year for fear of contracting the coronavirus.

Twenty-nine percent of the residents who responded said they would not leave their homes if they were warned to evacuate.

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“The coronavirus just complicates matters even more for those preparing for what is forecast to be an active hurricane season,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group in an email to WJCT News.

Of those who would evacuate, 80% said they would leave for a Category 2 hurricane or greater.

AAA Survey: What Category Hurricane Would Floridians Evacuate For?

  • Category 1       74-95 mph winds                8%
  • Category 2      96-110 mph winds             23%
  • Category 3      111-129 mph winds            29%
  • Category 4      130-156 mph winds           19%
  • Category 5      157 mph or higher winds   9%
  • Did not know                                                    12%

The survey’s margin of error was  5.9%, with 401 completed surveys that were weighted to match the demographics of the state's adult population.

To help Florida residents prepare for hurricane season, which began Monday, June 1, a sales tax holiday for storm preparation items like batteries, generators, coolers, and more is underway until Thursday, June 4.

A full list of hurricane items that qualify for the tax holiday is available here.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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