Poll Finds Most Coastal Residents Not Prepared for Hurricane Season

Many Americans who live in Gulf and Atlantic Coast states are not prepared for an active 2009 hurricane season, despite being slammed last year, a new Mason-Dixon poll found.

More than half those surveyed, 66 percent, said they don't have a hurricane survival kit and 62 percent said they don't feel vulnerable to a hurricane or related tornado or flooding.

A majority of them, 83 percent, said they haven't done anything in the past year to make their houses more hurricane-resistant, according to the poll.

These statistics worry weather experts.

"As the 2009 hurricane season approaches, many residents still believe it won't happen to them," said Jack Beven, senior hurricane forecaster at the National hurricane Center. "Unfortunately, these devastating storms could happen to anyone and the only way to keep yourself and your family safe is to be prepared."

More than half of those polled said if a major storm was approaching, they would only evacuate if ordered to do so by emergency officials.