Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response: Evidence from Sales of Emergency Supplies Before and After Hurricanes May 2018 By Jay ShimshackThomas K.M. BeattyRichard J. Volpe Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response: Evidence from Sales of Emergency Supplies Before and After Hurricanes Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Response: Evidence from Sales of Emergency Supplies Before and After Hurricanes Government information warns households to acquire emergency supplies as hurricanes threaten and directs households to stay off roads after hurricanes make landfall. Do households follow this advice? If so, who, when, and how much? We provide novel evidence. We combine forecast and landfall data for U.S. hurricanes between 2002 and 2012 with extensive scanner data on sales of bottled water, batteries, and flashlights. We find that sales of emergency supplies increase when a location is threatened by hurricane. The bulk of the sales increases occur immediately prior to forecasted landfall. The average increase in sales after landfall is large and statistically significant. Observed emergency preparation as hurricanes threaten is moderately higher in coastal, wealthier, and whiter areas. Ex-post emergency responses after hurricanes make landfall are sharply higher in African American, lower income, and less educated areas. Our results suggest that households do not follow government advice. beatty_shimshack_volpe_may2018_complete.pdf Jay Shimshack Jay Shimshack is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School. He received a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and a B.S. from Cornell University. Prior to joining UVa, Shimshack held positions at Tulane University and Tufts University and a visiting faculty fellowship at the University of Michigan. His major fields are environmental regulation, environmental economics, corporate social behavior, and applied microeconomics for public policy. Read full bio Thomas K.M. Beatty University of California, Davis Richard J. Volpe Cal Poly Related Content Jay Shimshack Disparities in PM2.5 air pollution in the United States Research Particulate air pollution in the contiguous United States has decreased considerably over recent decades, but where exactly has that progress been made? Batten's Jay Shimshack and his co-authors dive in. Costly Sanctions and the Treatment of Frequent Violators in Regulatory Settings Research Regulators typically treat frequent violators more harshly. When does such harsh treatment maximize overall compliance? Faculty Spotlight: From College Drop-Out to Action-Minded, Award-Winning Professor News Batten's Paul Martin teaches a course aimed at improving experiences for first-generation students at UVA, while also participating in a wide range of activities for the betterment of the Charlottesville community. Nationally, Air Pollution Has Fallen in Recent Decades. But Disparities Between Communities Persist. News Air pollution can have serious consequences for a person’s quality of life. Inhaling high concentrations of “fine particulate matter,” or particles approximately 40 times smaller than a grain of sand, has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and even death Jonathan Colmer told an online audience last week.