New Yorkers' Emergency Plans Still Lacking

Despite warnings of terrorist attacks, energy blackouts or even the chance of a hurricane hitting America's largest city, a new survey indicates most people living here are not prepared for such disasters.

While 40 percent of New Yorkers say they are better prepared for an emergency than a year ago, in most cases their emergency supply kits are incomplete and their emergency plans have not been tested, according to a report released Monday.

Only 13 percent of respondents reported that their emergency plans contained all of the key recommended elements: two designated locations to reunite with family and friends; more than one exit route out of the city; contact information for someone who lives out-of-state; and written copies of that information, according to the report by the American Red Cross in Greater New York and New York University's Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response.

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they had not conducted a test-run of their emergency plans. And 48 percent said they were unprepared for an emergency that would require them to meet members of their household without being able to communicate directly with them.

While 67 percent of respondents said they were very prepared or somewhat prepared to live in their homes without power or water for up to three days, the survey found that only 55 percent have supply kits with enough nonperishable food and only 36 percent have the required 3 gallons (11 liters) of water per person.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adult New Yorkers was conducted between Feb. 28 and March 15. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.