A destroyed house and car are seen in the Lower Ninth Ward August 27, 2007 in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina made landfall south of New Orleans at 6:10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2005, as a strong Category 3 hurricane that flooded 80 percent of the city and killed more than 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. (Getty Images/Mario Tama)
WASHINGTON -- Most people think the U.S. is not better prepared for handling natural disasters than it was when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast five years ago, according to a poll released Thursday.
Almost six in 10, or 57 percent, say the country has not improved its disaster preparations, according to the survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Roughly equal numbers of Democrats, Republicans and independents share that view.
Just 38 percent said the country is more ready than it was.
The poll also found that nearly 7 in 10, or 69 percent, think progress has been made rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf.
People in the South -- which includes Gulf Coast states -- feel most strongly about it, with 75 percent saying progress has been made. In other regions, a combined 66 percent see progress.
Democrats were less convinced than Republicans and independents, with 63 percent of them saying reconstruction has moved ahead.
Pew conducted the poll from Aug. 19-22, interviewing 1,003 randomly chosen adults by telephone, including those on landlines and cellphones. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.