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 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? Former Head of Belonging and Inclusion at Airbnb Joins Batten Faculty News Melissa Thomas-Hunt is bringing a unique blend of scholarly and real-world expertise to her dual appointment at UVA’s Batten School and Darden School of Business. Batten's New Postdoctoral Researchers to Focus on Diversity, Social Identity News The School's new postdoctoral fellows will investigate perceptions of minorities in academia and the workplace, among other subjects.