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Ahead of hurricane season, new survey of Florida residents reveals major safety concerns about disaster preparedness
[May 30, 2024]

Ahead of hurricane season, new survey of Florida residents reveals major safety concerns about disaster preparedness


Mark43, the leading cloud-native public safety software provider, today announced new research revealing that a strong majority (86%) of Florida residents believe local first responders should be equipped with the technology necessary to respond to hurricane-related incidents and that nearly three-fourths (74%) worry about power outages affecting 911 response times, during what is slated to be one of the most active hurricane seasons to date. To address their concerns, Floridians call for critical public safety technology upgrades so that first responders have the tools needed for rapid response, emergency deployments, and spending more time delivering life-saving measures to people in their communities.

"It's no secret that our domestic emergency response infrastructure is fragile. Floridians are concerned about the impact that ever-increasing natural disasters are having on emergency response and legacy public safety systems. They called for modern, cloud-native, secure and redundant technology systems that grant agility and speed to their first responders in times of crisis," said Mark43 Co-Founder and President Matthew Polega.

The residents of Florida also voiced concern about the impact of natural disasters on emergency response systems and safety specifically during major tourist seasons. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of the Florida residents said they are concerned about first responders' ability to keep their communities safe during spring break and summer vacation. Updating first responders' technology suites can provide the resiliency needed during these busy times. The vast majority of residents call for upgrades to modern cloud-native technology offering redundancy, security, and maximum efficiency to help ensure first responders can move rapidly to help those in need.

The new research also revealed that:

  • 77% of Florida residents have been concerned about natural disasters in the past year. This concern may be mitigated with increased trust in local public safety agencies' ability to respond and modern, reliable technology.
  • 81% of residents surveyed admitted to not getting immediate help during extreme weather. That can be due to a variety of reasons, including staffing shortages or technology issues that result in delayed responses. Modern technology can help close these gaps.
  • 79% of Florida residents favor more state or federal funding to upgrade technology used by local public safety agencies.
  • 81% believe their local law enforcement agency should prioritize investment in modern technology, and 85% request a specific investment in emergency preparedness tools.
  • 92% would be concerned if their local public safety agencies used outdated software that doesn't update in real time.
  • 87% of Florida residents prefer to have a backup emergency dispatch system in case of outages. In a state where natural disasters are common, redundant public safety technology is essential.
  • 70% of Floridians believe an increased police presence in the community would create a benefit of visibility and stop crime from occurring.



Generational insights

There are some differences in responses by generation in Florida.


  • Floridians aged 65 and older are the biggest proponents of local law enforcement investing in modern technology (90%) compared to younger generations (77%). As a state with one of the highest population percentages over the age of 65, this call for investment is critical to support the communities that the first responders serve.
  • Ninety-three percent of this older generation favors more state and federal funding to upgrade emergency preparedness tools, and 96% note this is especially critical for responding to hurricane-related incidents in a timely manner. Younger generations also support this to a significant but lesser extent (72%).
  • Specifically, 95% of those aged 65 and up want their local public safety agency to have a backup dispatch system in case emergency systems go down. This compares to 78% of younger generations who feel the same way.
  • Florida residents over the age of 65 have the biggest fear of power outages affecting 911 response times due to hurricane-related events: 88% noted this concern.
  • Older residents call for police presence within their communities. More than 82% of those aged 55 and older think visibility can help prevent crime. Sixty-three percent think having modernized technology will also help them feel safer, which is surprisingly tech-forward compared to their "digital native" younger counterparts aged 18 to 24 who are more hesitant (34%).
  • With first responders being pulled in different directions thanks to competing responsibilities, both older and younger generations are proponents of using modern technology to help create time to engage with the community (87% and 65%, respectively).
  • Florida residents also have deep concerns about their agencies using end-of-life or "sunsetted" technology that will not be functional in the near future for record-keeping and dispatch, with older generations being the most concerned at 92%.

"The concerns of Florida residents and their proposed solutions align with Mark43's mission to empower communities and their governments with modern technologies that improve the safety and quality of life for all," said Polega. "Cloud-native modern tech systems like the Mark43 public safety platform allow officers to spend more time in their communities doing the work they intended - and that their constituents expect and deserve."

Survey methodology

An online survey of 1,026 Florida residents was conducted by Propeller Insights between April 25 and May 6, 2024. Respondents opted in to an online database; from there, they were targeted based on demographics. To further confirm qualifications, respondents were asked to verify their information in the survey itself with self-identifying qualifications. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

About Mark43

Mark43 is the leading cloud-native public safety technology company. By delivering a modern, intuitive and mobile-first records management system, computer-aided dispatch and analytics platform, Mark43 empowers governments and their communities to improve the safety and quality of life for all. Working with more than 250 local, state and federal public safety agencies, Mark43 is transforming how first responders use technology to respond, engage and serve the community. Mark43 provides the tools, resources, expertise and security foundation that public safety needs today, tomorrow and beyond. For more information or to request a demo, visit www.mark43.com.


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