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FEMA Releases 2019 National Household Survey Results

January 2020

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released results from the 2019 National Household Survey (NHS). Every year, FEMA surveys the American public to gauge how the culture of personal disaster preparedness and resilience has changed over time. FEMA also reviews the opinions and experiences that cause people to take steps to become more prepared. FEMA administers the NHS in English and Spanish via landline and mobile telephones to a random sample of approximately 5,000 adults, which includes an oversample of 500 additional interviews per the following hazard region: tornado, flood, hurricane, wildfire, earthquake, and urban event (e.g., terrorist attack or nuclear explosion).

Compared to last year, results from the 2019 NHS indicate an increase in the percentage of people who have taken preparedness actions and have savings set aside for an emergency.

  • At least 62% of adults have pursued three or more of FEMA’s six recommended basic preparedness actions.
  • At least 69% of adults have set aside some money for an emergency.
  • Nearly 50% of adults have set aside less than $700 for an emergency.













Data from the 2019 NHS revealed, overall, adult residents are increasing their level of preparedness:

  • 30% attended a meeting or training, a rise of 4 percentage points from 2018.
  • 45% talked with others about preparation, a rise of 17 percentage points from 2018.
  • 48% developed an emergency plan, a rise of 1 percentage point from 2018.
  • 64% looked for information, a rise of 25 percentage points from 2018.
  • 62% took 3 or more basic actions, a rise of 5 percentage points from 2018.
Want to learn more about the National Household Survey? View our webinars!

2019 National Household Survey Findings Part 1: Individuals and Preparedness

2019 National Household Survey Findings Part 2: Preparedness and Hazards

For more information and the full list of results, click here.

Looking to collaborate about preparedness behavior change?

Email us at FEMA-prepare@fema.dhs.gov. We want to hear about any new research findings that you have or opportunities to collaborate around research.

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