Taubman Center for Public Policy Survey

 

Providence Residents Not Very Worried about Terrorist Attacks

 

A public opinion survey of 432 adults in Providence indicates that more than two-thirds of city residents are not worried about a terrorist attack harming them or a family member next year.Twenty-eight percent say they keep emergency supplies on hand, and 41 percent say they try to watch out for people who look or act like terrorists.†††††††

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Ė Providence residents are not very worried about terrorist attacks in the capital city, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Brown University.More than two-thirds say they donít think they or someone in their family will be the victim of a terrorist attack in Providence during the next year.

 

The survey was conducted September 18-21, 2004 at Brown University by Darrell M. West, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and the John Hazen White, Sr. Public Opinion Laboratory, and Marion Orr, professor of political science, urban studies, and public policy.It is based on a citywide random sample of 432 adults in Providence.Overall, the poll had a margin of error of about plus or minus five percentage points.

 

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the Thomas Anton/Frederick Lippitt Conference ďHomeland Security in Urban AmericaĒ being held at the university Friday, September 24.The conference features Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, Providence Mayor David Cicilline, and several academic experts who will discuss how the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have affected cities.Conference details are online at www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Events.html.

 

When asked about their concern regarding specific kinds of attacks, 12 percent indicate they are very concerned about there being a radioactive bomb attack in Providence during the next year, 15 percent are very concerned about a car or truck bomb, and 15 percent are very concerned about a biological or chemical attack in the capital city.

 

To see how the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. has affected personal behavior, we inquired whether these attacks had made people less likely to go to downtown Providence for restaurants and entertainment, and for business.Only 8 percent said the attacks have made them less likely to go downtown for restaurants and entertainment, while five percent claim the attacks have made them less likely to go downtown for business.

 

As a result of the attacks, though, 9 percent said they are less likely to trust their neighbors and 41 percent say they try to watch out for people who look or act like terrorists.Forty-eight percent indicate that the thought of terrorism makes them very angry, while 14 percent say it makes them very anxious.

 

When asked how they are dealing with the terrorist threat, 28 percent of city residents say that they have stocked an emergency kit of food, batteries, first aid, or other supplies in case of a terrorist attack, while 45 percent say they are more careful about their surroundings when the federal government raises its official terrorism threat alert.Sixty percent claim they are willing for the city of Providence to reallocate some of its existing funds to protect the city against a terrorist attack.

 

The September 11 terrorist attacks continue to be a topic of discussion for many people.Twenty-three percent say they discuss the attacks at least once a week, 28 percent say they discuss once every few weeks, 23 percent indicate they talk about it once every few months, and 21 percent claim they almost never discuss the attacks with other people.

 

For more information, contact Darrell M. West at (401) 863-1163.A copy of the press release outlining survey results can be found at www.InsidePolitics.org.

 

Survey Questions and Responses

 

How worried are you that you or someone in your family will be the victim of a terrorist attack in Providence during the next year:10% very worried, 20% somewhat worried, 69% not too worried, 1% donít know or no answer

 

How concerned are you about the possibility of there being a radioactive bomb attack in Providence over the next year?12% very concerned,21% somewhat concerned, 64% not very concerned, 3% donít know or no answer

 

How concerned are you about the possibility of there being a car or truck bomb in Providence over the next year?15% very concerned, 28% somewhat concerned, 54% not very concerned, 3% donít know or no answer

 

How concerned are you about the possibility of there being a biological or chemical attack in Providence over the next year?15% very concerned, 25% somewhat concerned, 57% not very concerned, 3% donít know or no answer

 

How likely do you think that a terrorist attack will take place in Providence during the next year? 5% very likely, 22% somewhat likely, 68% not very likely, 5% donít know or no answer

 

How often do you discuss the September 11 terrorist attacks with other people? 5% at least once a day, 18% once a week, 28% once every few weeks, 23% once every few months, 21% almost never, 5% donít know or no answer

 

When you talk with other people about September 11, do they tend to:74% agree, 6% disagree with your viewpoints, 20% donít know or no answer

 

Have the September 11 terrorist attacks made you less likely to go to downtown Providence for restaurants and entertainment? 8% yes, 86% no, 6% donít know or no answer

 

Have the September 11 terrorist attacks made you less likely to go to downtown Providence for business? 5% yes, 86% no, 9% donít know or no answer

 

Have the September 11 terrorist attacks made you less likely to trust your neighbors?9% yes, 85% no, 6% donít know or no answer

 

As a result of September 11, do you try to watch out for people who look or act like terrorists?41% yes, 49% no, 10% donít know or no answer

 

Does the thought of terrorism make you feel: 14% very anxious, 39% somewhat anxious, 39% not very anxious, 8% donít know or no answer

 

Does the thought of terrorism make you feel: 12% very afraid, 38% somewhat afraid, 43% not very afraid, 7% donít know or no answer

 

Does the thought of terrorism make you feel:48% very angry, 27% somewhat angry, 17% not very angry, 8% donít know or no answer

 

Do you have an emergency kit of food, batteries, first aid, or other supplies in case of a terrorist attack? 28% yes, 65% no, 7% donít know or no answer

 

Are you more careful about your surroundings when the federal government raises its official terrorism threat alert? 45% yes, 46% no, 9% donít know or no answer

 

Would you be willing for the city of Providence to reallocate some of its existing funds to protect the cityagainst a terrorist attack? 60% yes, 23% no, 17% donít know or no answer