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AARP survey says fewer Floridians 45 and older had a disaster plan this year

Credit: Florida Storms/FPREN
Credit: Florida Storms/FPREN

A survey of Florida residents 45 and older shows fewer of them have a disaster emergency plan this year, compared to 2019.

AARP Florida released these results ahead of schedule Monday in hopes that Floridians will make plans now as Hurricane Ian approaches the state.

The AARP survey shows that just 67% of Florida residents 45 and older have an emergency plan this year, compared to 75% three years ago.

State Director Jeff Johnson says the preoccupation with COVID-19 may account for some of the drop-off -- plus the fact that Florida hasn't seen a major hurricane in nearly four years.

"There are," he said, "enough new Floridians coming into the state and the area every year that there are more Floridians who just haven't been through this before and thus may not have a plan."

Floridians over 65 saw a 5 percent drop in preparedness. But those seniors are still much more likely to have an emergency plan than younger adults in the survey.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.