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Survey: Troubling number of Americans aren't prepared for disasters
By Insure.com staff

Twenty-seven percent of Americans would ignore evacuation orders and wait until absolutely necessary before leaving their homes or seeking shelter in case of a natural disaster, according to a new survey from Allstate.

"There is a clear opportunity for people across the country to better understand the importance of following evacuation protocols," Allstate Executive Vice President of Claims Mike Roche said in a press statement. "Preparation is a family's best defense against a natural disaster."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency made 99 major disaster declarations in 2011, the highest number since 1953. Among survey respondents, 21 percent have had their homes damaged by natural disasters.

Despite the risk, 46 percent of all respondents say they have not thought about or discussed an evacuation plan or a meeting place away from home for their families. In addition, 62 percent say they have not prepared an emergency kit, and 56 percent say they have not prepared a home inventory of their belongings.

An emergency kit should include a supply of water and ready-to-eat, nonperishable foods, a weather radio, traveler's checks or cash, important papers, personal hygiene items, blankets, extra clothes and shoes. A home inventory keeps track of belongings to ease the insurance claims process.

The survey polled 1,000 adults with renters or homeowners insurance.

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