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Fewer Floridians Plan to Evacuate this Hurricane Season


A survey by AAA has found that far fewer Floridians are likely to evacuate due to a storm this year. The reasoning? They are worried about the coronavirus pandemic. This is an alarming statistic, because storms have proven to be much deadlier than the novel coronavirus, at least for most people outside nursing homes. We encourage everyone in Daytona Beach and Volusia County at large to take sensible steps to protect themselves and their families.

Over 40% Less Likely to Leave

As reported by CBS Miami, AAA found that 42% of respondents stated that they are less likely to evacuate this year when a hurricane approaches. Their primary reason is that they are afraid of contracting COVID-19. Out of the people less likely to leave, nearly 30% reported that they would not leave even if they were warned to evacuate. This means that a larger number of Floridians will be riding out a hurricane in 2020 than in previous years.

Of course, the likelihood of leaving depends on the strength of the hurricane. Only 8% would evacuate for a Category 1 hurricane, which is the weakest, with sustained winds under 95 miles per hour. As the power of the storm increases, more people said they would leave: 31% would evacuate for a Category 2 and a whopping 80% would evacuate for a Category 4 hurricane. Consequently, we can assume that at least some of the people saying they would stay home might pack up and leave if the storm is predicted to be very strong.

Should You Leave or Stay?

We believe that those who are afraid of COVID-19 should assess their risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the infection fatality rate for COVID-19 is around 0.4%. This means that of those who contract the virus, only 0.4% will die. And this is an early estimate—the IFR could come down even more as additional information becomes available.

The lethality of the virus depends considerably on a patient’s age. Those over age 65 are at much higher risk of dying than those who are younger. Also, those with chronic health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and asthma are at significantly higher risk of dying.

Even if you are at risk, you should ask county and city officials what their plans are. Some shelters are dedicating space to isolate those with symptoms of the virus, which should slow its transmission. You should also prepare to have a mask and hand sanitizer with you. Although they have been in short supply, more stores are carrying them now.

We encourage everyone to come up with an evacuation plan. (AAA found that slightly over half of all people do not have one). If you are afraid of the coronavirus, you can identify friends or relatives nearby who might let you stay with them for the storm’s duration. Also remember to gas up as soon as you hear that a storm might be approaching.

Contact Us if Your Home is Damaged

Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. has helped many homeowners with property damage and flood damage claims. Please contact our Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claim attorneys today at 386-252-5170. After a storm, you need a passionate advocate in your corner.


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