The same number of Americans are worried today that a terrorist attack might take place near their home or workplace as were immediately following Sept. 11.
According to the latest Fox News national poll conducted by the research firm Opinion Dynamics, about one-third of the public is now worried (11 percent "very" and 24 percent "somewhat") about future terrorist attacks happening near them. These findings are virtually identical to the results from a survey taken the week following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
As was the case soon after the original attack, a majority of the country is fairly unconcerned their local area will be a target of future attacks. Thirty-four percent say they are "not very" and 30 percent say they are "not at all" worried that terrorist attacks might take place near their home or work.
And without concern, there's no reason to make changes. Almost two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) say they have made no changes at all in their day-to-day lifestyle in response to terrorist activity. Only five percent say they have made "major" lifestyle changes and 31 percent say they have made "some minor" changes.
Even if they aren't making major lifestyle changes, some Americans are making plans just in case terrorists strike near them. The most common measures people say they have taken include setting aside some cash (37 percent), identifying their local emergency personnel (35 percent), stocking up on food and water (23 percent), and mapping an escape route (14 percent). Very few (two percent) have felt the need to purchase a radiation monitor.
"Americans seem to be settling into a ‘rational preparedness’ mode — taking the reasoned amount of precaution against future terrorist attacks, but not materially altering their day-to-day lives," stated Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.
A majority believes their local authorities are prepared should an attack happen in their area. Sixteen percent say their local emergency personnel are "very well prepared" and 41 percent say "somewhat prepared" to handle a terrorist attack. Thirty-five percent are less confident in the ability of their local officials to respond (20 percent say "not very prepared" and 15 percent say their officials are "not at all prepared").
Polling was conducted by telephone July 9-10, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.
1. How worried are you that terrorist attacks might take place where you live or work?
SCALE: 1. Very worried 2. Somewhat worried 3. Not very worried 4. Not worried at all 5. (vol. already has happened) 6. (Not sure)
2. Which of the following best describes changes you have made in response to terrorist activity in the U.S.?
SCALE: 1. I have made major changes in my day-to-day lifestyle 2. I have made some minor changes in my lifestyle 3. I haven't made any changes at all 4. (Not sure)
3. How well prepared do you think your local authorities are to handle a terrorist attack in your area?
4. Please tell me if you or members of your family have made any of the following emergency plans in case a terrorist attack were to take place in your area. Have you: