Poll: Most People Are Unprepared for Terrorist Attacks

A new Harris Poll finds that most people have no idea who to contact in the event of a terrorist attack and do not have a plan to evacuate their homes or workplaces.

A new poll by Harris Interactive finds that most people have no idea who to contact in the event of a terrorist attack and do not have a plan in place to evacuate their homes or workplaces should an attack occur.

The new issue of "The Harris Poll" looks at the recent level of public anxiety over personal safety and people''s preparedness in the event of a terrorist attack or other disaster. The poll surveyed 1,011 adults by telephone.

An interesting finding of the poll is that the level of anxiety is smaller than some other surveys have suggested. According to the Harris Poll, only 10 percent of all adults say they are "extremely" or "very anxious" about their personal safety, while 52 percent are "not very" or "not at all anxious." Over a third of the public (37 percent) are "somewhat anxious."

Most people (57 percent) say they are no more anxious now than they were before Sept. 11th, but more than two out of five people (42 percent) say they are more anxious now.

The survey also found that the majority of people have done little to prepare themselves for a terrorist attack or other disaster:

52 percent of all adults say they do not know who to contact about emergency plans for their community.

58 percent say they have no plans to evacuate from their homes quickly and safely.

45% of those who work say they have no plans to evacuate their workplaces quickly and safely..

This issue of the Harris Poll also includes several questions which were last asked in May this year, to see if and how public sentiment might have changed as a result of events since Sept. 11th and the weakening economy.

With two exceptions these measures of the public''s mood found only modest changes. There is little change in the numbers who feel good about their health, the quality of their lives, their jobs, and, surprisingly, their financial security.

There were two significant changes. The number of people who feel good about the "state of the nation" increased from 54 percent to 69 percent, and the number of people who feel good about their children''s future dropped from 62 percent to 56 percent.

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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