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Timely evacuation is vital for reducing adverse outcomes during disasters. This study examined factors associated with evacuation and evacuation timing during Hurricane Sandy among World Trade Center Health Registry (Registry) enrollees.
The study sample included 1162 adults who resided in New York City’s evacuation zone A during Hurricane Sandy who completed the Registry’s Hurricane Sandy substudy in 2013. Factors assessed included zone awareness, prior evacuation experience, community cohesion, emergency preparedness, and poor physical health. Prevalence estimates and multiple logistic regression models of evacuation at any time and evacuation before Hurricane Sandy were created.
Among respondents who evacuated for Hurricane Sandy (51%), 24% had evacuated before the storm. In adjusted analyses, those more likely to evacuate knew they resided in an evacuation zone, had evacuated during Hurricane Irene, or reported pre-Sandy community cohesion. Evacuation was less likely among those who reported being prepared for an emergency. For evacuation timing, evacuation before Hurricane Sandy was less likely among those with pets and those who reported 14 or more poor physical health days.
Higher evacuation rates were observed for respondents seemingly more informed and who lived in neighborhoods with greater social capital. Improved disaster messaging that amplifies these factors may increase adherence with evacuation warnings. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:411–419)
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