Coastal Residents Reluctant to Evacuate for Hurricanes

LiveScience.com
Coastal Residents Reluctant to Evacuate for Hurricanes
.

View photo

Sunrise inside Tropical Storm Isaac on Aug. 24.

With Tropical Storm Isaac spinning toward the Gulf Coast, officials have issued hurricane warnings and ordered thousands to evacuate. But emergency personnel might have some trouble convincing residents to get out of harm's way. Research shows that many are reluctant to leave in the face of a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane.

"People say, 'Oh Category 1, no big deal.' But any hurricane is a big deal, and people need to recognize that and take precautions," said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina (USC).

There are already evacuations happening in response to Isaac, with mandatory evacuation orders in place for parts of Alabama's Baldwin County and Mobile County as well as the east bank of Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana to the southeast of New Orleans.

Cutter and her team conducted a survey last year and found that nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of South Carolina residents along the coast said they were unlikely to evacuate ahead of a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane. This held true for residents in designated storm surge zones, where deadly levels of flooding are possible if a hurricane hits.

"Being in a storm surge zone during any hurricane is very dangerous," Cutter said in a statement from USC. Moreover, at least a third of those surveyed could not accurately answer whether or not they lived in a storm surge zone or flood zone. [Video: Tropical Storm Isaac Roars to Life]

The poll found that mandatory evacuation orders were more effective, with 75 percent of residents saying they would leave if such a mandate was issued for a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane. But just 50 percent said they would go if the evacuation was recommended instead of mandatory, the survey found.

About three-quarters of residents (74 percent) said they were more likely to leave if they knew they could return home within three days. But if they couldn't return for a week, willingness to evacuate dropped to 55 percent and then to 45 percent for a two-week wait or longer, the survey showed.

Sometimes pets can play a major part in decisions to evacuate, Cutter's team found, with 95 percent of pet-owners saying they would bring their dogs, cats and other animals if forced to evacuate.

"We have seen evidence in the literature that one of the reasons people don't evacuate is because of family pets," Cutter said in USC's statement. "Not all public shelters accept pets. Not all hotels are pet-friendly. Families need to bring food for the pets. So it's definitely a factor in some households."

The survey, conducted between March and May of 2011, sampled 3,272 residents in the eight coastal counties in South Carolina on their past and potential evacuation behavior in response to hurricanes. The poll had a margin of error of 1.71 percent.

Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Inside Edition
    • ESPN drops commentator over Venus Williams 'gorilla' remark

      US broadcaster ESPN has dropped commentator Doug Adler after he compared Venus Williams to a "gorilla" at the Australian Open -- although he insisted the word he used was "guerrilla". ESPN said Adler should have been more careful during his coverage of the seven-time Grand Slam-winner's win over Stefanie Voegele. "During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection," an ESPN statement said.

      AFP
    • 'NCIS: Los Angeles' star Miguel Ferrer dies at 61

      NEW YORK (AP) — Miguel Ferrer, who brought stern authority to his featured role on CBS' hit "NCIS: Los Angeles" and, before that, to NBC crime drama "Crossing Jordan," has died.

      Associated Press
    • Cancer Patient Who Did 'Juju on That Beat' During Chemo in Viral Video Dies

      Ana-Alecia Ayala, who made headlines in October for dancing up a storm during chemotherapy treatments, has died after a year-long battle against cancer.

      Inside Edition
    • Grown-up Paris Jackson hits her namesake city for Givenchy

      PARIS (AP) — Colorful fall-winter menswear shows in Paris mixed high culture, androgyny and streetwear, as Paris Jackson, the daughter of the late pop icon Michael Jackson, stepped out for the cameras at Givenchy's library show— fittingly in the City of Light.

      Associated Press
    • Prosecutor: 'Dance Mom' should be imprisoned for fraud

      PITTSBURGH (AP) — A prosecutor on Friday urged a federal judge to sentence "Dance Moms" star Abby Lee Miller to prison instead of probation for bankruptcy fraud.

      Associated Press
    • Animal Shelter Offers $11,200 Reward After Rottweiler Is Found With Ears, Nose and Tail Cut Off

      "Baron is doing remarkably well considering his injuries," a veterinarian reported.

      Inside Edition
    • Anti-Trump inauguration protests break out in U.S. (53 photos)

      Protesters set fires and hurled bricks in a daylong assault on the city hosting Donald Trump’s inauguration, registering their rage against the new president in a series of clashes that led to more than 200 arrests. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades to prevent the chaos from spilling into Trump’s formal procession and evening balls. Several spirited demonstrations unfolded peacefully at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through to the inaugural ceremony. Signs read, “Resist Trump Climate Justice Now,” ”Let Freedom Ring” and “Free Palestine.” But about a mile from the National Mall, police gave chase to a group of about 100 protesters who smashed the windows of downtown businesses including a Starbucks, a Bank of America and a McDonald’s as they denounced capitalism and Trump. Police in riot gear used pepper spray from large canisters to help contain the violence, which erupted periodically throughout the day. “They began to destroy property, throw objects at people, through windows. A large percentage of this small group was armed with crowbars and hammers,” said the city’s interim police chief, Peter Newsham. Six officers suffered minor injuries, he said. The confrontation began an hour before Trump took the oath of office and escalated several hours later as the crowd of protesters swelled to more than 1,000, some wearing gas masks and with arms chained together inside PVC pipe. One said the demonstrators were “bringing in the cavalry.” (AP) See more of our inauguration coverage here . See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.  

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Suspect in officer's slaying spews expletives at judge

      ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Hours after a fugitive in the slaying of a police officer told a judge he was brutalized during his arrest, Orlando's police chief released a video of his surrender and described the suspect as "extremely violent, dangerous and very unpredictable."

      Associated Press
    • Michelle Obama’s Faces Upstaged Everyone at the Inauguration

      Michelle Obama may now be the former first lady, but on the Internet, she’s being celebrated as the reigning shade queen, thanks to her facial expressions on Inauguration Day.

      Yahoo Beauty
    • Everything We Think We Know About the Upcoming Ford Bronco and Ranger

      Ford promises a new small pickup truck and a return of the legendary Bronco name. Here's what to expect.

      Road & Track
    • Roger Federer floors Berdych in 90 minutes at Australian Open

      Swiss marvel Roger Federer blitzed long-time rival Tomas Berdych in straight sets to storm into the fourth round with a vintage performance at the Australian Open on Friday. The 17-time Grand Slam champion, seeded 17th after an injury-hit 2016, downed the 10th-seeded Czech 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, in just 90 minutes. Federer reached the round of 16 in Melbourne for the 15th time where he will face Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

      AFP
    • How fast is too fast? Tesla’s Model S P100D hits a 0-60 time of 2.38 seconds

      Let's be honest: Tesla doesn't really need to make its cars go any faster. After all, it's not as if Tesla owners are lamenting the fact that a handful of multi-million dollar supercars can go from 0-60 MPH just a few tenths of a second faster than a top of the line Model S. That of course has never stopped Elon Musk and co. from attempting to turn the Model S into an unrivaled speed demon. This past August, Tesla unveiled the Model S P100 D, a car that can go from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds flat. Upon its introduction, Elon Musk boasted that it was the fastest production car on the planet. Elon Musk, though, is a notorious glutton for speed and performance, which is to say that Tesla engineers quickly got to work on ways to make the already jaw-dropping 2.5 0-60 time even more impressive. To this point, Tesla last week released an over the air update that manged to make Tesla's flagship Model S even faster. Musk even took to Twitter where he hinted that a 0-60 time of just 2.34 seconds might even be possible. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/819609111801139200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Just one week later, we finally have our first legit video -- from the adventurous folks on YouTube's Tesla Racing Channel -- which showcases the Tesla Model S P100D in "Ludicrous+" mode going from 0-60 at breakneck speed. While the Model S didn't hit 2.34 seconds, it did manage to post a time of 2.38 seconds. You can check out video of the Model S P100 D putting in work via the video below. All the more impressive is that Tesla managed to make the car faster solely via a software update. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUAZcD0gqDg Lastly, and for those who have an unquenchable thirst for speed, you can check out a list of the world's fastest cars over here .

      BGR News
    • New Documents Show Bin Laden Was Paranoid About Biological Trackers

      The declassified documents, seized by the Navy Seals team responsible for killing Osama in 2011, include letters to family, expense account entries, and Bin Laden's observations on world events.

      International Business Times
    • Delaware welcomes Joe Biden home after decades in Washington

      WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — On his last day as vice president, Joe Biden briefly revived a tradition he had followed faithfully as a U.S. senator for Delaware: He rode the commuter train home from Washington.

      Associated Press
    • Protests worldwide against the inauguration of Donald Trump (45 photos)

      A banner reading “Build bridges not walls” was draped across London’s Tower Bridge on Friday as part of a series of protests across the world aimed at expressing displeasure at the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Protesters on the drawbridge, with its two Gothic-style towers, held up pink letters reading “Act now!” soon after sunrise, while others unfurled the banner over the railings and a speedboat with a black flag reading “build bridges not walls” raced down the River Thames. Several hundred people, most of them expatriate Americans, held a protest on Friday in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, hours before his inauguration in Washington. Some people held up electric candles and others carried placards reading “Love Trumps Hate” and “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights,” as they marched along a downtown street. In the Philippines earlier on Friday, about 200 demonstrators from a Philippine nationalist group rallied for about an hour against Trump outside the U.S. embassy in Manila. Some held up signs demanding U.S. troops leave the Philippines while others set fire to a paper U.S. flag bearing a picture of Trump’s face. Trump’s presidency is being viewed with caution in some parts of Asia. (Reuters) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr. See more of our inauguration coverage here .

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Alleged NYC Bucket of Gold Thief Arrested In Ecuador

      Julio Nivelo took authorities on a months-long search that spanned two continents.

      Inside Edition
    • Gambia's Jammeh offered last chance for peaceful exit before troops advance

      By Tim Cocks BANJUL (Reuters) - West African leaders on Friday extended a deadline for Gambia's longtime leader Yahya Jammeh to leave office or face action by a regional military force to install President Adama Barrow, the winner of an election in December. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Guinean President Alpha Conde flew to the capital Banjul on Friday to try to persuade Jammeh to cede power peacefully. Troops spearheaded by Senegal and Nigeria had crossed into Gambia on Thursday at the request of Barrow, who was sworn in on Thursday at Gambia's embassy in Dakar as Jammeh refused to step down.

      Reuters
    • Is There a Hidden Meaning Behind Melania Trump's Tiffany & Co. Inauguration Gift?

      On Friday morning during the traditional welcoming to the White House of the incoming president and first lady by the outgoing president and first lady before the inauguration, Melania Trump presented Michelle Obama with a gift from Tiffany & Co.

      Yahoo Style
    • Suspected Orlando Cop Killer Goes on Profanity-Laced Rant in Court

      Suspected cop killer Markeith Loyd -- who was caught Tuesday after a nine-day manhunt in Orlando, Florida -- cursed at the judge in a profanity-laced first appearance in court this morning. Loyd, who was wanted for allegedly killing Master Sgt. Debra Clayton of the Orlando Police Department this month, was in court today charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December. Loyd has not yet been charged in connection with Sgt. Clayton’s murder.

      ABC News