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The Impact of Superstorm Sandy on Residents Age 50+ in Connecticut

AARP commissioned a survey of Connecticut residents ages 50 and older living in areas most heavily affected by Superstorm Sandy to gather insights on how these residents were impacted by the storm. The survey explores residents’ opinions of how well the government and service providers responded to the storm, the extent of impact caused by power outages, as well as what information might have been useful for them to have right after the storm.

Key findings included:

  • Most respondents (77%) lost power as a result of Sandy, with 69 percent of these residents being without power for four days or more. One out of eight (13%) respondents say the loss of power complicated health issues, with respondents most often reporting medical equipment interferences (65%), followed by monitoring system interferences (31%), and prescriptions drug storage issues (28%). Those with disabilities were twice as likely (26%) to report having health-related complications due to the power outage, with the vast majority (84%) experiencing interferences with their medical equipment.
  • Overall, the majority of residents surveyed rated service providers and elected officials positively in their response to the storm. Electric utilities received the lowest ratings, however, with 32 percent of respondents saying they did a poor to fair job in the days and weeks following Sandy.
  • About half of respondents (48%) who lost power in one of the 2011 storms as well as from Sandy, said the performance of their utility company was better in Sandy than it had been in 2011. However, 40 percent thought their electric utility’s performance had not changed since 2011, and 9 percent thought it was worse.
  • Having important phone numbers for emergency assistance (47%) tops the list of information respondents say would have been helpful to have after the storm, followed by tips on how to avoid crime and scams, such as identity theft and price gouging (36%).

This telephone survey of Connecticut residents ages 50+ was fielded December 19 to December 27, 2012. A total of 800 interviews were completed in the shoreline towns of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties. For more information, contact Kate Bridges 202-434-6329.

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