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Disaster Preparedness Survey of Mothers and their Children

A survey commissioned by the national nonprofit Home Safety Council found that while a majority of mothers have talked with their children about preparing for emergencies, very few have taken action to ensure that their family is prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.

The survey polled mothers and their children ages 6 to 11 and found that while nearly 60 percent of mothers feel their families are prepared for an emergency situation, less than one-third have developed and discussed a family communications plan.

Even fewer families have assembled readiness kits. The children surveyed echo the same sentiment with 64 percent saying they think their family is prepared for an emergency, but only 27 percent reporting that their family has developed and discussed a communications plan or assembled readiness kits to use in an emergency situation.

Key Research Findings:

A Mutual Feeling of Preparedness

  • The majority of moms (57.7 percent) and their children (64.2 percent) feel they are prepared for an emergency situation, such as a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster.
  • 68 percent of the moms surveyed said they have talked to their children about what their family would do if a natural disaster occurred in their hometown.
  • 68 percent of the children surveyed also said they have talked with their parents about what they would do if a natural disaster occurred in their hometown.

Concern for Natural Disasters among Mothers

  • More than 40 percent of moms (41.8%) don't think their children worry about natural disasters happening in their hometown.
  • Almost half of moms (46.2%) think their children worry about natural disasters from time to time.
  • Less than 10 percent of moms (7.6%) don't think their children worry about natural disasters because they are well prepared and would know what to do in an emergency situation.
  • Less than five percent of moms (4.5%) think their children worry about natural disasters regularly.

Concern for Natural Disasters among Children

  • More than one-third of children surveyed (34.4%) said they don't worry about a natural disaster happening in their hometown.
  • Almost half of children surveyed (47.4%) said they worry about natural disasters from time to time.
  • Less than 10 percent of children surveyed (8.8%) said they don't worry about natural disasters because their family is well prepared and would know what to do in an emergency situation.
  • Less than 10 percent of children surveyed (9.4%) said they worry about natural disasters a lot.

Ready-to-Stay and Ready-to-Go Kits

  • None of the moms surveyed (0 percent) said their family has a complete Ready-to-Stay Kit assembled.
  • More than one-third of the children surveyed (32.7%) said they don't know if their family has a Ready-to-Stay Kit.
  • Nearly three-quarters of the moms (73.2%) and children (74.4%) surveyed said they do not have a Ready-to-Go Kit packed with the supplies their family will need if an emergency situation forces them to leave home without notice.
Survey Methodology

Results are based on Internet surveys with a nationally representative sample of 6-11 year olds and their mothers recruited from Weekly Reader Research's INSIDERS survey research community. 614 interviews were conducted with moms and one of their 6-11 year old children between August 3 and August 6, 2007. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ¬Ī4.0 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls. Random sampling procedures were employed to ensure that respondents accurately reflect the nations 24.7 million 6-11 year olds in terms of age, race/ethnicity, gender and census region.

About Weekly Reader Research

Weekly Reader Research is the premier youth and family survey research organization providing clients with a continuous stream of insights into the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs of America's kids, tweens and teens (and their parents!) To learn more about Weekly Reader Research, please visit www.weeklyreaderresearch.com. Children and teens between the ages of 4 and 19 years of age can also earn points for great prizes by giving their opinions by registering at www.wrinsiders.com. The site is safe and COPPA compliant.

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