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10/21/2013 - Americans admit not prepared for disaster

Though it's late in the season, meteorologists warn that the threat for hurricanes still looms.

A new poll suggests that a substantial number of Americans are operating under the assumption that a major catastrophe won't take place, as few are prepared for such an event.

According to the survey, which was conducted jointly by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ad Council, roughly 60% of consumers admitted that they don't have the mechanisms in place to deal with an emergency.

Craig Fugate, administrator for FEMA, noted that this is particularly concerning for families who have children.

"Educating and engaging youth is an integral step in preparing the nation for all hazards," said Fugate. "Youth have a unique ability to influence their peers and families to be more resilient, and children can play an important role in disaster preparedness, during and after a crisis."

To help arm parents and children with the information they need to be prepared, the organizations have been in the midst of a campaign, making public service announcements through radio, television and online as part of its "Ready Kids" initiative.

It urges parents to take the steps they need to make their family more aware of dangers that can develop, especially those that are weather-based.

"Our research has shown that parents need to prioritize family discussions about potential emergencies," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "These conversations are critical and can have a drastic impact on your family's safety in the event of a disaster."

Though it's late in the season, meteorologists warn that the threat for hurricanes still looms, as many homeowners insurance claims have been filed in November and December. One of the strongest November storms was Hurricane Paloma, which produced 145 mph sustained wind gusts at its peak back in 2008.

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