Highlights from a survey conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research of more than 2,000 Americans, including 1,007 residents of 16 counties in New York and New Jersey that were affected by Superstorm Sandy in October.
— Across the 16 counties most affected by Sandy, 55 percent said their neighborhoods have completely recovered, and 71 percent said they personally have completely recovered.
— But about 5 percent of all residents of affected counties said their neighborhood will never recover from the storm, and individuals in slowly recovering neighborhoods are also less likely to say that Sandy brought out the best in people than individuals in neighborhoods reporting greater levels of recovery (63 percent vs. 81 percent).
— Seventy-seven percent reported that the storm brought out the best among their neighbors, while just 7 percent said it brought out the worst.
— About half said their neighbors shared food or water (52 percent), generators or access to power (49 percent), or took in neighbors with damaged homes or without utilities (48 percent). About 4 in 10 said neighbors helped others prepare their homes for the storm (39 percent), and almost half said neighbors helped others repair damage after the storm (49 percent).
— Eleven percent of those in the affected region reported seeing looting or stealing during or immediately after the storm. Seven percent reported vandalism of property, and 28 percent saw neighbors hoarding food or water.
WHO CAN HELP
— Forty-one percent in the affected counties said they sought help from friends, family or neighbors, with about 6 in 10 of those who got the help saying it was deeply helpful.
— Sixteen percent said they contacted the federal government, and 7 percent said they contacted their state government, in the wake of the storm. Nineteen percent who sought help from the federal government said it was helpful; twice as many (38 percent) said the feds were no help at all.
— Along with friends, family and neighbors, first responders were also viewed as helpful by most in the affected areas. Sixty percent of those surveyed who turned to first responders for help said they provided quite a bit or a great deal of assistance.
— In the event a major disaster were to happen in their neighborhood today, 7 in 10 Americans say they would be able to rely a great deal or quite a bit on their local police, fire department, ambulance and other first responders for help.
— Thirty-one percent of those who asked utility companies for help reported they received at least quite a bit of help during or after the storm. Fewer called state and federal governments helpful, with 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively, reporting receiving a great deal or quite a bit of help from those sources.
— The vast majority of Sandy victims have not moved to a new house — 94 percent are living at the same address they were when the storm hit.
— Half of those in the area affected by the storm think their communities are extremely or very likely to be affected by a hurricane that could cause serious destruction or loss of life within the next five years.
— Sixty-three percent of those in the storm's path reported giving money, clothing or other items to charity as a direct result, while 54 percent of other Americans reported doing so.
— Of Americans outside the storm's path, 78 percent said Sandy did not really affect any of their friends or family, and yet many of them offered some type of assistance to victims of the storm.
The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey was conducted April 19 through June 2, 2013, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The nationally representative poll involved landline and cellphone interviews in English or Spanish with 2,025 adults, including 1,007 who lived in 16 Sandy-affected counties in New York and New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012. Interviews were conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points, for respondents in the affected areas, it is 4.7 points.
AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research: http://www.apnorc.org .