2020 Survey Reveals COVID-19 Pandemic Has Not Improved America’s Emergency Preparedness
Report reveals concerns about household readiness ahead of National Preparedness Month in September
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (August 20, 2020) – A national survey released today found that despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. experiencing 14 separate billion-dollar natural disasters in 2019, 75% of Americans do not feel that they are well prepared for natural or man-made disasters, and only three out of ten Americans have an emergency preparedness plan.
For the third year in a row, BELFOR Holdings, Inc. (BELFOR) – the world’s largest disaster recovery and property restoration company, which includes BELFOR Property Restoration and BELFOR Franchise Group – conducted an independent, national survey of homeowners and renters across the U.S. to measure disaster preparedness in recognition of National Preparedness Month in September.
Key findings of the survey, aimed at gauging how natural and man-made disasters as well as the COVID-19 crisis have impacted Americans’ decisions about emergency preparedness, include:
- Only a third of respondents have been influenced by recent media coverage around COVID-19 to improve their emergency preparedness planning. Less than half of these respondents bought supplies for an emergency kit, created and/or updated their preparedness plan, or reviewed a preparedness plan with their family.
- 41% of respondents are more aware of cleaning needs within their homes amid the pandemic.
- Of the 39% of respondents currently working at home due to the pandemic, almost half would be comfortable returning to their office if their employer used a professional cleaning company certified in COVID-19 treatment, versus a janitorial service or having employees themselves clean their workplace.
- 53% of working respondents think it is important to have an emergency plan at work, but only 40% were familiar with such a plan at their workplace.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that health disasters are devastating just like natural and man-made disasters are. Everybody has a little bit of hero in them, so NOW is the time to take action to prepare each other and loved ones – don’t wait for tomorrow,” said Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR. “We hope these results inspire people, businesses and communities to rethink their emergency plans, and drive national awareness about the importance of being prepared for any type of disaster.”
Building on the results of previous years, the 2020 survey also found that:
- Nearly half of respondents who have not made a plan say it is because they have never thought about it.
- Naturally, and as the survey confirms, homeowners and renters’ concerns about disasters vary by region – most worrisome are tornados (Midwest and Southwest), home fires (Northeast and Mid-Atlantic), hurricanes (South) and earthquakes (West).
- More than six in ten respondents have special responsibilities in the event of an emergency, including pets (36%) and individuals requiring extra assistance such as children, elderly or disabled persons (26%).
“Now more than ever, we’re seeing an increased need for deep cleaning services from home and business owners alike,” said Rusty Amarante, president of BELFOR Franchise Group. “Our network of home-service based franchises will continue to operate around the clock to help residences, businesses and communities face the challenges presented by weather events, everyday disasters and the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.”
BELFOR’s family of brands has played an essential role on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing cleaning and treatment services for residential households as well as businesses and facilities including hospitals and healthcare facilities, first responder departments, cruise ships, schools and universities, sports arenas, assisted living facilities, hotels and more.
To learn more about BELFOR’s industry-leading, proprietary COVID-19 cleaning and treatment services, click here. For tips and information on how to prepare your household or workplace for disaster, click here.
About BELFOR Holdings, Inc.
BELFOR Holdings, Inc. is a $2 billion entity that operates a number of companies around the world, many of which complement the core work provided in the restoration industry, including BELFOR Property Restoration, the world’s largest disaster restoration company. For nearly 75 years, BELFOR has provided residential, commercial and industrial customers every service needed to help return to normal operations in the aftermath of man-made or natural disasters, including the global COVID-19 pandemic. From water and flood restoration services, fire and smoke recovery, structural damage repair, disinfection services and biohazard cleaning, to the recovery and restoration of equipment and vital documents, BELFOR has a rapid and proven response. BELFOR companies operate in more than 55 countries with 450+ offices employing over 9,200 full-time experienced restoration specialists who are dedicated to “Restoring More Than Property.” For more information, please visit www.belfor.com.
About BELFOR Franchise Group
BELFOR Franchise Group is the world’s largest residential and commercial services franchise group based on geographic footprint and number of units. The privately held, multi-concept franchise system is a division of BELFOR Property Restoration, the world’s largest disaster restoration company. For over a decade, BELFOR Franchise Group has empowered entrepreneurs by offering industry-leading training, support and equipment, turnkey business models, and ongoing coaching and business development. BELFOR Franchise Group is the parent organization for nine of the strongest service-based franchise opportunities for home and commercial cleaning and restoration. The franchise brands include: 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, Chem-Dry & Upholstery Cleaning, Delta Restoration Services, DUCTZ International, HOODZ International, N-Hance Wood Refinishing, Blue Kangaroo Packoutz, The Patch Boys, and Z PLUMBERZ. For more information, please visit www.belforfranchisegroup.com.