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Are Homeowners Prepared for Disaster?

floodMany households may not be financially prepared for disasters, according to the new 2017 American Housing Survey released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to the Survey, 12 percent of 77.3 million owner households reported they did not have access to $2,000 to pay for their family’s evacuation, while renters were harder hit, with 39 percent indicating they do not have access to $2,000 to cover evacuation expenses.

“For nearly 45 years, the American Housing Survey has been America’s premier source of data on housing costs and quality," said HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude. “In collaboration with FEMA, we have added disaster preparedness questions to this survey to better understand the challenges that households face as they prepare for and respond to disasters.”

“We welcome our partnership with HUD and this new data from the American Housing Survey. This report underscores the need to prepare for the hazards we may face at any time,” said FEMA’s Deputy Administrator for Resilience, Dr. Daniel Kaniewski. “During National Preparedness Month, FEMA is encouraging individuals, families, and communities to start preparing. People with an emergency plan in place, a little emergency savings in the bank, and the right insurance coverage will bounce back much quicker following a disaster.”

Among the findings from the survey was data on the quality of homes. For example, 12.6 percent of all households reported seeing signs of cockroaches in their home in the last 12 months, while 3.1 percent of all households reported signs of mold in their home.

Many households may not be financially prepared for a disaster. Over half of all American households spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing costs.

However, it seems disaster preparedness is increasing nationally. According to the survey, 4.4 million more households indicated they had an emergency evacuation kit in 2017 compared to 2013.

Find the complete release here.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Staff Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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