HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 15-034
Olga Alvarez
(212) 542-7142
For Release
March 31, 2015


WASHINGTON - Nearly 53 percent of families in the New York City metropolitan area are prepared to evacuate their homes in the event of a disaster by having an emergency kit ready to go, according to new statistics released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau. American Housing Survey data for 25 individual metropolitan areas being released today includes information on how many families are prepared for emergency situations such as a fire, a terrorist attack or a large-scale natural disaster.

The new metro-level data includes household responses to a series of questions that will help leaders determine their metro area's preparedness for these emergency situations. The level of preparedness varies by metro area.

The American Housing Survey is the most comprehensive housing survey in the United States. The results released today for the metro areas also include the latest data on the condition of homes, housing costs, overcrowded housing and much more. Read the full list of data for New York City released today (

"The American Housing Survey added questions on emergency preparedness in response to recent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy," said Kurt G. Usowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs at HUD. "Emergency responders at all levels of government, along with policy makers and businesses, can use the American Housing Survey for planning and decision-making as we prepare communities for the risks posed by extreme weather and other natural disasters. In the end, we hope this information will strengthen communities' ability to be economically and culturally resilient in the face of natural disasters and a changing climate."

Besides disaster preparedness, other new topics in the survey included levels of community involvement, neighborhood characteristics, and public transportation. The survey also continues to include traditional economic indicators such as the number of underwater mortgages (owing more than the value of the home) in major cities, the physical characteristics of American homes, and monthly property insurance costs.

By the Numbers: Levels of Disaster Preparedness in New York City:

Prepared Emergency Evacuation Kit
(Does the household have emergency supplies readily available to take with you if you have to evacuate your home?)
Yes 52.87%
No 43.43%
Disaster Plan with Financial Information
(Do you have a disaster plan that includes having access to your vital financial information and contact numbers if you had to evacuate your home?)
Yes 76.92%
No 19.98%

Generator Present
(Does the household have a generator to provide electricity in case there is a power outage?)
Yes 20.94%
No 77.58%
Non-Perishable Emergency Food
(Does the household have enough non-perishable food to feed everyone in the household for three days?)
Yes 76.3%
No 20.3%
Emergency Water Supply
(Does the household have at least three gallons of water or 24 bottles of water for each person in the household?)
Yes 53.51%
No 43.09%
Communication Plan
(Do the members of your household have a plan for communicating in the event that cell phone service is disrupted?)
Yes 37.28%
No 60.1%
Emergency Meeting Location
(In some disasters, household members will need to evacuate separately. Does your household have an agreed-upon meeting point if that should happen?)
Yes 34.17%
No 63.29%
Need help evacuating pets
(If you or your household had to evacuate from your town or city to a safe place at least 50 miles away, would you need assistance evacuating or sheltering your pets?)
Yes 37.15%
No 54.5%
Evacuation Funds
(If you or your household had to evacuate from your town or city to a safe place at least 50 miles away, do you have the financial resources, in terms of savings or available credit card balances, to meet expenses of up to $2,000?)
Yes 70.92%
No 24.49%
Evacuation Vehicle(s)
(If you or your household had to evacuate from your town or city to a safe place at least 50 miles away, do you have enough reliable vehicles to carry all of your household members, including pets, and a small amount of supplies such as clothes and food?)
Yes 59.27%
No 37.49%
Likely Place to Stay During a 2-Week Evacuation
(If you or your household had to evacuate from your town or city to a safe place at least 50 miles away for at least two weeks, where would you most likely stay during those two weeks?)
With relatives or friends 75.73%
Public shelter 5.76%
Hotel or motel 12.17%

Source: American Housing Survey, Table S-06-AO-M. Percentages based on respondents in each metro area. Figures do not add up to 100% because those who did not know or who did not respond are not listed above.


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