New Jerseyans Flunk Basic Preparedness
The number of New Jerseyans and their families who have made emergency plans in case of terrorist-related emergency has declined. According to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind only a quarter of residents say they've made emergency plans, such as stocking up on food and water or mapping an escape route, in case a terrorist attack were to take place in their area. Polls in April and September of last year showed a third of New Jerseyans had made such plans.
Fewer Garden Staters are worried about terrorist attacks affecting them or their families. Only 36% say they are somewhat or very worried about a terrorist attack, down from 44% in September. "This is ironic considering we have only just emerged from a long period of high alert," said Dr. Peter Woolley, executive director of the poll. "But some people may be showing signs of emergency fatigue. Others may be showing more confidence in the abilities of the government to thwart such attacks."
At the same time that Jerseyans are worrying less about a terror attack, their confidence in federal and state efforts has risen: 60% say the federal government is doing all it can to prevent another attack as compared to just 50% last September; and 56% say the state government is doing all it can as compared to just 47% last September. "Confidence in the President, the public's perception of success in Iraq and confidence that the government can prevent another attack tend to reinforce each other," said Woolley.
Men are more likely than women (37-22%) to say they are "not worried at all" about a terrorist attack. Women are more likely than men (45-26%) to say they are "somewhat" or even "very" worried. Women are also more likely than men (29-20%) to have made emergency plans.
South Jerseyans and those who live in the Northwest part of the state are more likely than people in other areas to say they are not worried at all. "People who live close to a big city or have to commute to the city are more likely to have to think about the possibilities of a dire emergency in the city," added Woolley.
Among different age groups those over 60 stand out as less likely than others to have made emergency plans.
The PublicMind poll of 600 registered voters was conducted from January 4 through January 11 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
Bruce Larson 973.443.8727
Peter Woolley 973.670.3239
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