Campus News

Few would turn to feds for disaster relief

In the event of a major disaster in Georgia, the public is more likely to turn to such nongovernmental organizations as churches or the Red Cross than to government, according to a recent Peach State Poll.

Just over one-third of all poll respondents said that they would look first to a church organization if a disaster occurred; 28 percent said they would go to the Red Cross. Only 20 percent said they would head first to state or local government, and a mere 8 percent said they would turn to federal government first.

Most critical of federal disaster response are African Americans. While 57 percent of whites in Georgia are either very confident (19 percent) or somewhat confident (38 percent) in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, only 40 percent of African Americans are either very confident (10 percent) or somewhat confident (30 percent).

The poll also found that half of all Georgians believe a major natural disaster is either very likely (19 percent) or somewhat likely (31 percent) to occur in the next two years. Twenty-four percent of those who know someone directly affected by either Hurricanes Katrina or Rita believe that a major disaster is very likely, as opposed to only 14 percent of those who do not know someone affected by those hurricanes.