While more than half of Torontonians included in a recent poll say they’re at least somewhat well-prepared for a disaster such as a flood or hurricane, those with lower incomes tended to be less prepared or know emergency evacuation routes.
Forum Research polled 848 Toronto residents over the age of 18 on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17. Of those, 46% said they were somewhat well-prepared for disasters, including floods, hurricanes and fires and 13% said they were very well-prepared.
Of those residents with household incomes of less than $20,000 annually, only 24% said they were somewhat well-prepared and 10% said they were very-well prepared.
Two thirds of all respondents (63%) did say they have an emergency kit including flashlights, batteries, food and blankets at home. Of those between age 55 and 64, 72% said they had emergency kits ready to go.
If asked to leave their homes during an emergency, 67% of respondents said they would comply, and 73% said they had an exit plan for their home in case of fire.
The percentage of those who knew how to evacuate Toronto if they had to was nearly evenly split, with 56% saying they did and the remainder saying they did not. Among those with annual household income under $20,000, however, 57% said they did not know.
“While it appears Torontonians are well-prepared for a catastrophe like Hurricane Sandy, what this reveals is that there are significant minorities who are woefully unprepared for a disaster,” Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research noted.
The City of Toronto’s emergency workers and first responders would assist in cases of evacuation, and routes depend on the type of disaster and region or regions it occurs in, according to the city’s office of emergency management. The city would also assist with resources such as transit depending on the type of emergency.