As Hurricane Dorian approaches the U.S., government officials have issued mandatory and voluntary evacuations along the East Coast from southern Florida to North Carolina. More than 342,000 low-income households with incomes less than $25,000 live in these evacuation areas, nearly 52% of whom are renters. Households with low incomes are more likely than others to face significant challenges in evacuating.
Population of Evacuation Areas (Mandatory and Voluntary)
Households with Annual Incomes Less than $25,000
Households 65+ years of age
Occupied Mobile Homes
Households without a Vehicle
People in Institutional Group Quarters
Source: ACS 2013-2017.
The potential costs of evacuation include gas, food, accommodations, and the loss of income from missed work, all making it extremely difficult for poor renters to escape the path of a hurricane. According to the Federal Reserve, forty-one percent of adults in their latest financial well-being survey could not cover at least $400 of unexpected expenses - like evacuation costs - with their savings (See Memo, 4/30). The same survey found that one out of every 10 households with incomes below $40,000 had no savings, checking, or money market account at all.
More than 93,000 households in the evacuation areas lack vehicles, making evacuation difficult in auto-centric communities. Of the households with no vehicles, 68.5% are renters.