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The 2021 National Household Survey Results are in: Join FEMA for a Webinar Series

October 2021

2021 National Household Survey

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the results from the 2021 National Household Survey and will host two webinars to review the results. Download the summary here.

Click the links below to sign up! And read below for a preview the NHS 2021 results.

2021 NHS Summary Part I – Key Findings and National Overview

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. To view the webinar recording, click here.

2021 NHS Summary Part II – Hazards and Demographic Summaries

  • Thursday, October 28, 2021, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. To view the webinar recording, click here.

Every year, FEMA surveys the public to assess the Nation’s progress in building a culture of preparedness. FEMA also reviews the perceptions and experiences that influence people to take steps to become more prepared. This year, the survey respondent sample size was raised from 5,000 to 7,000 people and fielding was completed in a mix of phone and online-based forms.

You may find more in-depth findings for each of the key messages in the National Household Survey Data Digest.

Key messages from the 2021 National Household Survey:

Help Build Preparedness Confidence While Awareness and Disaster Experience is High
Use Recognition of Risk to Motivate Preparedness for Climate-Driven Disasters
Consider the Needs of Historically Underserved Communities
Promote Low-Cost Ways to Bridge the Preparedness Gap for the Socioeconomically Disadvantaged

Measuring Preparedness Behavior Change in America – The Stages of Change

Preparedness Increases with Stage of Change. Stage 1: 14%, Stage 2:: 20%, Stage 3: 23%, Stage 4: 24%, and Stage 5: 20%

FEMA uses the Stages of Change (SoC) model and other social science models to guide evidence-based program and policy decisions to maximize impacts. The SoC model measures an individual’s attitude and behavior regarding preparedness based on the principle that the process of changing an individual’s behavior occurs progressively across five stages. Behavior changes in people can take time, which is why we track the SoC for the Nation over multiple years. In this way, noticeable changes happening at the national level can be easily viewed.

Preparedness Influencers

Factors promote preparedness. Awareness: 92%, Disaster Experience: 54%, Preparedness Efficacy: 40%, Risk Perception: 76%


In 2021, the NHS has been updated to give specific looks at Historically Underserved Communities. An example is below for those living in urban, sub-urban, and the historically underserved rural community. Download the NHS public summary to see all of the results observed in the 2021 survey.

Rurality Preparedness Summary: Example slide showing results of the 2021 NHS. Full results in downloadable summary

Join us for a webinar where FEMA will discuss findings for a wide range of observations of preparedness attitudes, trends, and behaviors across the United States.

Helpful Links

To learn more about research at FEMA, please visit: https://www.ready.gov/preparedness-research
Have questions about this data? Contact FEMA at FEMA-Prepare@fema.dhs.gov