Evacuating during a hurricane brings unexpected costs

Hotels, gas, food all adds up

LAKELAND, Fla. - Evacuating has a lot of challenges, but it also has a lot of expenses.

For those traveling to Polk County from the East Coast, those costs are already adding up.

Bob Auwaurder  and his wife live on the barrier Island in Vero Beach and knew they had to leave.

“There was a mandatory evacuation but we would have left anyway,” he said.

Studies show economics play a key role in whether not people evacuate during a hurricane.

Many won’t evacuate if they have pets because most hotels don’t allow them. Boarding dogs can range from $16 to $20 a night.

The hotels we checked with in Lakeland are sold out with many people escaping the storm. Hotels will run at least a $100 a night.

“It’s not too bad. The hotel is not that expensive. They don’t look like they were taking advantage of the situation which is nice,” said Auwaurder.

Jennifer Caton who came to Lakeland from Edgewater, South of Daytona, has a cousin where she and her family can stay for free. But she does have to pay for boarding her two dogs.

“Then the gas to travel of course and then the food, so it’s definitely an out of pocket that we were not expected, so it’s tough,” said Caton.

But no matter what the financial cost of evacuating is, those who don’t evacuate could end up paying a much higher price.

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