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Are NW residents weather wimps?

January 18, 2022 by PEMCO Insurance

Despite the recent onslaught of snowstorms, floods and landslides across the Pacific Northwest, a new poll from PEMCO Insurance found that many residents remain undeterred by the increasingly severe weather that threatens to disrupt the region’s more moderate climate. And while two-thirds of residents claim they’re prepared to deal with more extreme weather, the latest poll from PEMCO Insurance found that others admit to being winter-weather wimps.

According to the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, the vast majority of Seattle and Portland residents (92%) agree that harsher weather patterns are likely here to stay. Despite the region’s reputation for mild temperatures, about two out of three – 68% of Seattleites and 64% of Portlanders – claim they’re at least somewhat prepared to take on more extreme weather conditions, like those we’ve recently seen in the Pacific Northwest.

But while many may boast winter-weather confidence, it may also depend on who you ask. Almost half (46%) of Northwest residents admit to being at least a little “wimpy” when temperatures start to drop.

“We’re lucky to live in a place that usually takes it easy on us when it comes to weather extremes,” said PEMCO Insurance spokesperson Derek Wing. “So much so that some of us may lack the stamina it takes to stand up to Mother Nature. Regardless of where your confidence lines up, the most important thing is to take it slow and play it safe to prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries.”

Don’t call everyone a weather wimp, though. One in five Northwest residents (20%) say they’re not wimpy at all, according to the PEMCO poll. Perhaps that’s because most residents say they’re equipped with things like ice scrapers and snow shovels.

But when it comes to bigger picture preparedness, the poll shows that nearly half of respondents think their city or county isn’t ready to help residents deal with more extreme temperatures, like by having enough snowplows to keep the roads clear the next time snow strikes. In fact, only 10% of Northwest residents say they believe their city is very well equipped to handle increasingly severe weather.

Whether that’s true or not, the poll suggests communities will have plenty more opportunities to respond to increasingly severe weather events. The poll found that three-quarters of Seattleites and Portlanders say they’ve seen a noticeable change in the Pacific Northwest’s climate in the past decade, with 87% of them saying the weather has become more extreme than ever before. And, nearly half (47%) of Pacific Northwesterners say these more recent weather patterns are extremely likely to be long-lasting.

For a complete summary of PEMCO’s proprietary poll results visit, where you’ll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in August 2021.


About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Mutual Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 420 respondents in the Seattle Metro (King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties) region and 418 respondents in the Portland Metro (Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas, Washington Counties) region yields an accuracy of +/- 5.0% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Mutual Insurance

PEMCO Mutual Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Insurance Companies 2022 with the #1 ranking in Auto, we are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener communities; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more.

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