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Many Florida residents would ignore evacuation warnings during hurricanes. Here's why

About a quarter of Florida residents would ignore warnings to evacuate during a hurricane, according to a new AAA survey.

In addition, AAA reported that about 23 percent of Florida respondents said they were not making any preparations for hurricane season or severe weather.

Of those who said they would Nearly two-thirds of respondents who evacuated during a hurricane said they would not leave their homes unless the hurricane was Category 3 or higher.

According to a AAA press release, Florida residents most frequently cited the following reasons for ignoring evacuation warnings:

  • 33% – Want to stay if there is damage to their home or property that they can repair

  • 29% – believe the storm will turn away from their direction

  • 24% – don’t know where to go

  • 23% – Financial reasons (e.g. cannot afford a hotel)

  • 20% – Cannot bring their pets/Do not have a safe place for pets

  • 19% – Fear of looting after the storm

This year, NOAA is forecasting 17 to 25 named storms in Florida during hurricane season, with up to seven of them estimated to become major hurricanes, reaching Category 3 or higher.

This is the highest number of storms ever forecast by NOAA for May – and a good reason for Floridians to prepare.

“It's simply not worth the risk to be in the path of a potentially deadly storm,” said Mark Jenkins, public relations manager for AAA's Auto Club Group. “Take action now to develop an evacuation plan for your family and pets. If you're concerned about property damage, contact your insurance advisor. Having adequate insurance coverage will give you peace of mind knowing that anything damaged while you're away can be repaired or replaced.”

AAA offers Florida residents the following suggestions to help them prepare for hurricane season:

  • CHECK INSURANCE COVERAGE: Review your home insurance policy with a licensed agent to find out if you are adequately protected. Discuss the deductible and make sure recent improvements to the home – including pools, screens and fences – are covered.

  • SAVE INSURANCE AND FLOOD NUMBERS: Make a note of your insurer's telephone number on your phone for reporting the claim.

  • UNDERSTAND HOW TO FILE A CLAIM: Find out if your provider allows you to submit a claim through a website or mobile app. This can speed up the filing process; otherwise, high demand can make phone wait times even longer.

  • Take inventory: Document your possessions by walking through your home with a video camera or smartphone. Keep a log of large purchases by using receipts and documenting the cost, purchase date, model and serial number.

  • KEEP IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS: Keep your personal information in a portable, waterproof container. Documents can include birth certificates, social security cards, insurance records, and more.

For more information on the 2024 hurricane season, visit ClickOrlando's hurricane page by clicking here.


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Anna Harden

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