Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Windstorm Survey Results -- Surprising

Since people from across the County and region had such individualized experiences over the course of September's windstorm, I expected results to be all over the map. But still, the results (out of 138 responses) surprised me.

Question 1: 42.7% said the windstorm was an inconvenience, 20.2% said it had a major impact on them and 26.6% said it was in between a major impact and an inconvenience. Only 10% said it was less than an inconvenience, or had no impact at all.

Question 2: Almost 2/3s of respondents lost power for two days or more. About 1/3 lost it for 4 days ore more. 15% lost it for more than 5 days.

Question 3 and 4: About 60% suffered damage beyond losing power, and 69% threw out their food.

Question 5: Most people kept up about the storm through the radio, and word of mouth (53% each). Perhaps not suprisingly due to the blackout, television, the internet and government briefings were significantly lower (24.2%, 21.1%, 4.7%).

Question 6: As to communication about the storm, you ranked the institutions in the following order: media (2.91 out of 5); government (2.68); law enforcement (2.62); health department (2.53); Duke Energy (2.47); Time Warner Cable (1.97).

Question 7: As to the overall response to the storm, you ranked the institutions in the following order: Duke Energy and law enforcement (each with 3.36); government (County/municipality) (3.30); health departments (3.12); Time Warner (2.53).

Given all the attention on Duke Energy, here is the breakdown on the rating of their response, on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being outstanding, 1 being very poor):

1 -- 15.3%
2 -- 13.7%
3 -- 18.3%
4 -- 23.7%
5 -- 28.2%

Substantive comments:

Your substantive comments were incredibly helpful. The majority of people were understanding of the difficult circumstances, and their number one frustration was simply wanting better communication of when they might get the help they need, and get their power back. Others wondered why there wasn't a better, more transparent prediction of the storm, so they could have prepared.

Almost all agreed we need to be better equipped and prepared for the "next one."

And most people said they will themselves be better prepared: having emergency kits, back-up batteries, nonperishable foods, buying generators, batter radios, and water.

Thanks again for taking this survey. I will pass all these results along to the relevant entities as we together assess how to do better next time.

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