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Friday, September 16, 2005


WASHINGTON POST POLL: MANY WHO COULD HAVE EVACUATED NEW ORLEANS CHOSE NOT TO DO SO 

The media has focused solely on the theory that all the people who were stranded in New Orleans were unable to leave the city. But, this Washington Post poll shows that a sizable number, perhaps a majority, could have left the city before the hurricane arrived. Of course it is understandable that many people wre unable to leave due to transportation and physical limitations.

However, if we want cities to improve their evacuation plans we must honestly examine why people chose to stay when they should have evacuated.

WHY THEY STAYED

Q: Before the hurricane hit, did you yourself hear that an ordr to evacuate had been given, or not?

73% - Heard the order
25% - Did not hear the order

Among those who heard the order
32% - Said the order did not give clear information about how to evacuate

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Q: For each, tell me if it is a reason why you, personally, did not evacuate
(Interviewers accepted multiple responses)

64% - I thought the storm and its aftermath would not be as bad as it was
55% - I did not have a car or way to leave
42% - I waited too long
37% - I just didn't want to leave
27% - I worried that my possessions would be stolen or damaged if I left
23% - I had to care for someone who was physically unable to leave
22% - I was physically unable to leave
9% - I didn't want to leave my pet

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Q: Looking back, do you think you could have found a way to leave before the storm hit, or was there no way for you to leave?

56% - Could have found a way to leave
42% - No way to leave


Click here for full results of the Washington Post poll

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