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Providing information and resources to help emergency risk communicators prepare and effectively respond in the event of a crisis.

Research Summary: Robert J. Blendon et al Report Results of a Harvard Poll on Hurricane Readiness, “Hurricane Readiness in High-Risk Areas: Overall Survey Results"


In the 3 years since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast, memories of the storm and its subsequent effects continue to linger with many of those impacted. In 2008, the Harvard School of Public Health Project on the Public and Biological Security surveyed people in high-risk hurricane areas (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas). The study results reveal Katrina continues to affect perceptions about storm preparedness and evacuation. While there is a need for the general public to better understand how and why to evacuate for a storm, there are particular segments of the population in need of specific and targeted information.

The results of the survey provide an important opportunity for risk communicators to address issues and misperceptions before and after a hurricane strikes. Understanding the reasons people do not evacuate is only part of the solution. Risk communicators can use this data to create messages that address these barriers and support informed decision making. hurricane

The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) conducted its 2008 survey in May and June 2008. The HSPH Project on the Public and Biological Security is funded by CDC through a grant to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

For highlights of the survey, visit

For more information, including complete results of the survey, please visit or contact Robin Herman at (617) 432-4752 or at


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