Superstorm Sandy Affects Two-Thirds of Garden Staters, Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Finds

Superstorm Sandy Affects Two-Thirds of Garden Staters, Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Finds

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J – Two-thirds of New Jersey residents were affected when Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Garden State three weeks ago, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Only 35 percent report they were not touched by storm, which caused massive damage throughout the state.

Sandy wrath was impressive. Nearly every resident (94 percent) lost power for at least some time in the storm’s aftermath; 65 percent were without electricity for more than five days. One fifth of affected residents were forced to leave their homes, and of those, 6 percent say they have not yet returned. Almost one-third reported damage to their home or other property.

Across the state, 61 percent of all New Jerseyans reported power losses, with 40 percent of all residents losing it for at least five days. All totaled, 14 percent of the state’s residents were forced to leave home.

"We already knew Sandy had a wide impact," said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. "What we get from these numbers is a clearer sense of its disruptive effects on nearly all New Jerseyans, whether near the shore or much further inland."

In Sandy’s aftermath, New Jerseyans give high marks to FEMA and the Red Cross, even though only 10 percent of those affected by the storm report using the services of a disaster-assistance agency. Half of all residents say the Red Cross has handled the storm’s challenges “very well,” while another quarter say it has done so “somewhat well.” FEMA gets slightly lower marks; 37 percent say FEMA has handled things very well, while another 31 percent say somewhat well.

Given the challenges electric companies experienced with power repairs, Garden Staters are surprisingly supportive. Across the state, 41 percent say their electric company handled the crisis very well and 34 percent say it was handled somewhat well.

Results are from a poll of 1,228 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from Nov 14-17. The sample has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

To see the entire poll, click here.


Media Contact: David Redlawsk
732-932-9384, ext. 285