Survey Finds Gender Gap In Attitudes Toward Disaster Preparedness
Men and women are on different pages when it comes to disaster preparedness, with males typically believing they are more prepared than women, according to a national survey by AxcessPoints, an online disaster preparedness service that helps consumers safekeep insurance, financial and medical information.
The survey taken by AxcessPoints from Oct. 22-24 found significant gender differences between the sexes, including the following:
-- More than 36% of males said they are extremely or well-prepared for a disaster, compared to just 22% for women. At the same time, 62% of men surveyed said they are either not very well prepared or not prepared at all, compared to 77% of women when asked the same question.
-- Asked whether their families have an emergency communications plan that includes where to meet and what to do, 37% of males say they have such a plan, but just 19% of women responded that they do. Similarly, 38% of males said they have an emergency communications plan, while only 22% of women said such a plan is in place in their home.
-- Men and women have different priorities in responding to a disaster. When asked what item they would grab from their homes in case of an emergency, 39% of males said they would take financial documents necessary to help rebuilding after a disaster, while only 27% of women said so. By contrast, 14% said of men said they would take family or wedding pictures first, compared to 32% for women.
"Men and women have significantly different viewpoints about disaster preparedness and those divergent attitudes expose American individuals and families to unnecessary additional risk," said AxcessPoints CEO Karlyn Carnahan. "The common thread between both men and women is that they lack knowledge and have not spent the time to adequately prepare. By taking a few simple steps, consumers can significantly minimize the financial and personal pain from a disaster."
For the insurance and financial services industries, the lack of preparation represents an opportunity to help consumers. The survey indicated that both men and women would rely on their insurance company more heavily than established relief organizations, such as the Red Cross or FEMA.
"Consumers have a higher level of trust with insurance companies than other organizations designed to provide disaster assistance," Carnahan said. "That translates into a unique opportunity to offer a disaster preparedness solution to consumers across the country."
AxcessPoints enables individuals and families to input insurance, bank and investment account information, along with medical histories, emergency contacts and other data. AxcessPoints can be configured to authorize selected family members, friends or trusted advisors to view all or part of the information online, so loved ones separated by geography can easily help one another.