Americans love their homes, and for most of us it is the largest investment we have or will ever make. We have worked hard for what we have and feel the need to protect it. This is why evacuation in an emergency situation is, such as a Hurricane, is a traumatic and terrifying decision. Due to the identification we derive due to home ownership many people decide to ride out the storm, thinking to protect their property. Not only are they protecting their homes from the storm but, according to Accuweather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski
, he believes people are fearful their home may be vandalized, while others think it won’t happen to them.
Often, when an evacuation is ordered, according to a recent study conducted by Plymouth Rock Assurance Company, 47 percent of the 1,001 New Jersey homeowners polled stated they would leave if asked. However 42 percent admitted their decision would be based on the severity of the storm, according to an article from Accuweather.
These same people were evenly divided regarding future hurricane preparations and whether they would do anything differently, even after dealing with the after effects of Superstorm Sandy. Fifty-seven percent once again said it would depend on the severity of the storm while twenty-three percent did say it would be safer to evacuate if a hurricane was approaching.
James Stone, Executive
and founder of Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey, stated, “While we are proud of the strength and resilience New Jersey residents have demonstrated, we must not forget the lessons of the past.” Mr. Wilson went on the say, “Failure to obey evacuation orders can be catastrophic, not only for those who stay, but also for emergency responders.”
New Jersey’s barrier islands and some low lying seaside communities, such as Seaside Heights, were easier to evacuate than the mainland due to the mandatory evacuation order. But the mainland evacuation was not mandatory and the resulting flood waters were much higher than anyone anticipated.
Sheriff Michael Mastronardy, the emergency management coordinator for Ocean County, New Jersey, said Tom’s River still has more than 1,000 homes scheduled to be demolished this year.
In the end it is a personal decision.