Millennials vs. Gen X: These 13 Statistics Show Which Generation Is Better Prepared to Survive a Disaster

Navigating the realm of disaster preparedness often ends up in a debate about the readiness of Millennials versus Gen X. There was even a terrible season of Survivor about it! 

But the question persists: which generation is genuinely more prepared to weather a disaster?

These 13 revealing statistics shed light on the answer.

Can Read a Paper Map

map reading survival skill

Millennials: 18%
Gen X: 44%

Only a scant 18% of Millennials say they are “confident” in their ability to read a paper map. Worse, 15% of them have never even tried to read a paper map!   Without a phone or Google Maps during an emergency, Gen X will be better equipped to navigate.

Have a Survival Kit

wilderness survival kit

Millennials: 56%
Gen X: 62%

COVID and the many climate disasters of the past few years were a wake-up call to many.

Now, a huge portion of Americans consider themselves preppers and have stockpiled supplies like bottled water and emergency radios. 

Gen X is doing better when it comes to the “final grade” on their survival kits, but Millennials aren’t far behind.

Consider Disasters When Deciding Where to Live

Millennials: 32%
Gen X: 23%

What’s better than preparing for a disaster? Avoiding them in the first place!  

It turns out that Millennials are doing a better job of this. Compared to Gen Xers, they were much more likely to factor natural disasters into life decisions like where to live. 

Gen Zers are even more aware of the risks, with 37% thinking about disasters when deciding where to live, whereas most Baby Boomers are still in denial, with only 18% considering disasters.

3+ Months of Emergency Savings

Millennials: 40%
Gen X: 47%

Money can’t save you in every emergency situation, but it certainly helps in many. Gen X is more likely to have at least 3 months of emergency savings than younger generations. Boomers are doing even better,r with 62% having savings. The younger generations were also less likely to be confident in their financial situation.

Know How to Use Fire Extinguisher

Millennials: 42%
Gen X: 49%

A fire extinguisher tops the list regarding home safety supplies, but a surprising number of people aren’t confident that they even know how to use one. Both Millennials and Gen X fail in this respect!

Able to Perform Home Repairs (without Checking Internet)

hurricane damage

Millennials: 80%
Gen X: 85%

When a major disaster tears through your community, it can wreak havoc on your home. You suddenly find yourself with a burst pipe, loose roof shingle,s or a door off its frame.   To make matters worse, the internet may be down, so you won’t be able to ask Google for help!

A survey from BigRentz found that roughly 20% of Millennials couldn’t perform basic home maintenance or repair tasks without checking the internet. Older generations were more confident in their abilities.

5 or More Close Friends

Millennials: 25%
Gen X: 31%

Forget all that “lone wolf” stuff you hear. Humans need community to survive!

The more close relationships you have, the more likely you will have a safety net and support if SHTF. Considering that Millennials grew up in the era of the internet and social media, it shouldn’t be surprising that they don’t have as many close friends as Gen X. 

Things get even worse when you dive in deeper:  27% of Millennials don’t have close friends compared to 22% of Gen X.

Have Gone Camping Recently

campfire in forest

Millennials: 17%
Gen X: 10%

Here’s one area of survival where Millennials are doing better than Gen X.  Over half of all campers are Millennials, and 17% of people in this age group have gone camping recently. All that camping gear and knowledge can really come in handy when bugging out!

Know How to Swim

Millennials: 86%
Gen X: 85%

When it comes to swimming, Millennials and Gen X are tied. But there’s a catch: Younger generations are much more likely to have taken professional swimming lessons and, thus, are more likely to be able to perform all 5 of the Red Cross water safety skills.

First Aid Skills

Millennials: 40%
Gen X: 34%

Here’s one area of survival where Millennials are better off than Gen X. A poll found that they were more likely to be confident in delivering first aid in emergencies. Other polls have found similar results when it comes to CPR knowledge.

Believe their State Government Is Prepared for Disasters

Gen Z: 27%
Boomers: 92%

Gen Z and Millennials have already been through a lot in their lives and have seen firsthand that the government doesn’t always come through. As a result, they are much less likely to be confident in their state’s preparedness level than older Americans.

This is an important aspect of survival because they know they may need to fend for themselves instead of relying on the government to help. *No stats for Millennials vs. Gen X

Are Good Cooks

Millennials: 64%
Gen X: 72%

Cooking is a precious skill to have during an emergency. Like when you can’t get to the store so need to bake bread from scratch or figure out 5 different meals to make out of the peanut butter, ramen and dried veggies you’ve got in your food stockpile. 

According to one survey, people from Gen X are much more likely to consider themselves good cooks. It’s unsurprising, considering that many Millennials grew up without home-cooked meals.  

Mentally Healthy

Millennials: 37%
Gen X: 43%

One of the most important things during an emergency is to stay calm. So, mental health is a huge part of surviving disasters.

Millennials are definitely more stressed out than their older counterparts, with only 37% of them considering themselves mentally healthy compared to 43% of Gen X-ers. Baby boomers are doing even better, with 60% saying they are mentally healthy.

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