The results have been released on the Grays Harbor County Citizen Expectation Survey.
Grays Harbor Emergency Management tells KXRO that the county-wide survey was meant as a way to “provide a basis to build stronger and more viable emergency and disaster plans, supporting all response agencies, local governments and the citizens of Grays Harbor County.”
In 2013, Emergency Management says that they received numerous comments about disaster and emergency situations around the county, and worried about public awareness on emergency and disaster preparedness.
A survey at that time moved Emergency Management into their current role, and they ran the 2017 survey to assess if their public awareness and information program have been successful.
The Citizen Expectation Survey was meant to assess two main areas; the level of emergency and disaster awareness throughout the county, as well as “to assess the level of preparation Grays Harbor County citizens possess and their intentions and expectations to an emergency or disaster situation.“
Over 750 people responded to the March survey, out of a July 2016 Census estimate 71,628 In Grays Harbor.
The results showed a larger “at-risk” population featuring families with senior citizens at approximately 21% higher than the 2015 adjusted census results.
The results showed that the majority of residents choose to get their news on a disaster and other events through the internet over traditional sources, with 37% over only 9% radio and 4% newspaper.
These results were similar to how residents get their weather forecasts, showing 61% preferred the internet over other sources.
When asked how they would prefer disaster news, a 59% majority answered via text message, followed by 11% by phone.
Only 50% of residents responded that they had an emergency plan in place for a disaster.
The complete results will be used by Emergency Management to set policies moving forward.