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On Wednesday morning, Hurricane Idalia made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, and it continued to move northeast through Georgia and the Carolinas in a weakened but formidable state. The deadly storm marks the latest major threat of hurricane season, and it arrived nearly 18 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, which forever changed the region.
CivicScience has recently explored the general impact of natural disasters on Americans and the home insurance market – along with the prevalence of ‘eco-anxiety’ (defined as “chronic fear of environmental doom” or “worry or concern about climate change and its effects”). The latest data examined how Americans consume news about severe weather events, and 92% of Americans responded that they follow news about weather events. The overwhelming plurality of U.S. adults who follow severe weather news get their latest updates from local news channels (43%). A similar share is almost evenly divided between national network news and cable news channels, along with local and national news websites (combining to 46%).
Adults who follow severe weather events on national network news channels are the most likely to report having ‘eco-anxiety’ (20%), followed by adults who primarily follow these events on national news websites (12%). Those who get severe weather news from radio broadcasts and social media are the least likely to experience any degree of eco-anxiety (76% ‘do not at all’).
Severe weather events and hurricane season generally stand to have an increasingly significant impact on travel habits. Over one-quarter of U.S. adults with travel plans in the past year have had to postpone or cancel plans at least once due to a severe weather event – and 8% have done this ‘numerous’ times. Urban residents are nearly twice as likely as the Gen Pop to say it’s happened ‘numerous’ times.
CivicScience is constantly tracking reasons for consumer reluctance to fly, and hesitance over flight delays and cancellations has jumped seven percentage points from June to August. Even if it isn’t a case of direct causation, the big jump certainly correlates with hurricane season.
Curious to know how severe weather and climate developments might impact the future of your business? Book a meeting today and stay ahead of the latest trends.