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 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? Environment Spillovers: Lessons from Strategic Interactions in Regulation and Product Markets Research We explore enforcement spillovers - when sanctions at one entity influence behavior at other entities. Our model illustrates when spillovers arise from a regulatory channel and when they arise from a channel not previously emphasized: product markets. Professor Jay Shimshack Appointed Batten School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs News The Batten School announced the appointment of Professor Jay Shimshack as associate dean for academic affairs. Shimshack succeeds Professor Craig Volden, who will conclude his distinguished four-year term as associate dean at the end of June and transition to the role of interim dean of the Batten School until Dean-elect Ian Solomon’s arrival on Sept. 1. If This Environmentally Conscious Batten Professor Could Fix Just One Thing... News Having skied and sailed in beautiful locales like Jackson, Wyoming; Newport, Rhode Island; and Puerto Rico, Jay Shimshack has loved nature ever since he can remember. So when he turned that love into a career, it felt, well, completely natural.