Fewer Coastal Residents Would Evacuate for Hurricane

MIAMI (AP) - About one in three people surveyed in Southern coastal areas say they would ignore evacuation orders if a hurricane threatened.

That's an increase from last year, when about one in four said they'd stay put.

The Harvard professor who directed the survey says it "shows how people can become complacent if they're not immediately threatened." He says last year's mild Atlantic hurricane season probably put more coastal residents at ease.

Reasons given for not evacuating included the belief that homes are safe and well-built, that roads would be too crowded and that fleeing would be dangerous.

Slightly more than one in four also said they would be reluctant to leave behind a pet.

Even in hurricane-devastated New Orleans, the poll found that six in ten people didn't know the location of an evacuation shelter.

More than five-thousand people in eight states were questioned by phone.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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