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Old 09-12-2018, 10:13 PM
Jinx Jinx is offline
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Hurricane Evacuations: Explain the "I'll Stay" Mentality?

I fail to understand these people who refuse to evacuate the Outer Banks and other barrier islands and/or coastal locations especially when (as I heard it) no hurricane of this magnitude has directly hit the area where Hurricane Florence is threatening to hit. I mean, what do they feel they can accomplish? Are they just showing false bravado? Do they like being the victims?
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:27 PM
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1 Optimism

2 can’t take your pets

3 they’re often wrong about where or how strong the storm is.

4 it’ll probably hit someone else’s house, not mine
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:29 PM
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"I've been through bad storms before, I can handle this."
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:36 PM
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Denial is part of it.

What I don't get is people who live in areas that are hit by disasters again and again. NO PLACE is that beautiful.

My sister lives in San Diego, and she's told me about SoCal neighborhoods that get burned out again and again, and even the Native Americans knew not to live on them.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:58 PM
China Guy China Guy is offline
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I lived in Asia and experienced maybe a dozen Typhoons (hurricane by a different name). It's always "not that bad" until one really blasts you. Those folks on the islands don't understand the damage a tremendous storm surge can do.

Wiki's take on Galveston: The Great Galveston Hurricane,[1] known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900,[2][3][4] was the deadliest natural disaster in U.S history, and one of the deadliest hurricanes to affect Canada. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000. Most of these deaths occurred in the vicinity of Galveston after storm surge inundated the entire island with 8 to 12 feet (2.4 to 3.7 m) of water. In addition to the number killed, every house in the city sustained damage, with at least 3,636 destroyed. Approximately 30,000 people in the city were left homeless, out of a total population of nearly 38,000.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:02 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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We had a category 3 come through the other week, in Kansai. I was at work in a tall building with a great view and it was something to behold. Darkness came rolling through during the middle of the day and whipped everything. One thing I didn't expect was the amount of garbage being suspended in the air.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:02 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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The charitable explanations have been given. The uncharitable one is "people who vastly overestimate their own intelligence".
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:55 PM
PastTense PastTense is online now
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Another not mentioned is poverty/lack of a car. This was a reason for some of the people who stayed behind in New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina.

Then there are those who couldn't leave because they were physically unable to leave. Remember the 35 St. Rita nursing home residents who died in Katrina:
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11658446/n...-nursing-home/
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:41 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by China Guy View Post
Wiki's take on Galveston: The Great Galveston Hurricane,[1] known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900,[2][3][4] was the deadliest natural disaster in U.S history, and one of the deadliest hurricanes to affect Canada. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000. Most of these deaths occurred in the vicinity of Galveston after storm surge inundated the entire island with 8 to 12 feet (2.4 to 3.7 m) of water. In addition to the number killed, every house in the city sustained damage, with at least 3,636 destroyed. Approximately 30,000 people in the city were left homeless, out of a total population of nearly 38,000.
To be fair to the people of Galveston in 1900, evacuating the area hadn't been an option. There was no advance warning system in existence back then. The first people knew of the hurricane was its arrival.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:43 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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1 Optimism

2 can’t take your pets

3 they’re often wrong about where or how strong the storm is.

4 it’ll probably hit someone else’s house, not mine
Fear of looters is probably also a factor. Some people probably figure they're in more danger of having their house robbed while they're away than they are from the storm.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:06 AM
nightshadea nightshadea is offline
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that and pride like the old "captain goes down with the ship" idea


for older folks "its their damn house and their memories and the sum of their life and thell go down fighting with it'\" if it dies so do they" in an all or nothing finale
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:33 AM
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Disaster shelters are pretty miserable and unsafe, so even if someone has the ability to get out, if they can't stay with family or get a hotel room they might prefer the risk of staying to the risk of leaving, especially if they're already predisposed to view the storm as a bunch of hype.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-13-2018 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:59 AM
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I think it's a combination of factors.

Firstly, the media tend to beat up just how dangerous a natural event might be. Here in Aus we have cyclone warnings for people to evacuate, but by the time the cyclone hits landfall it's been downgraded to a 'tropical storm' instead of THE WORST CYCLONE EVAH. Too many of those, and people get a bit jaded.

Similarly, the government wants people to evacuate so they don't get blamed for deaths. Provided they've given the warning, they're off the hook for responsibility...so it's in the govts best interest to urge early evacs even when not necessarily warranted.

Sometimes folks over-estimate their ability to deal with a natural disaster.

And just sometimes, the natural disaster could never be predicted to be so deadly. So by the time they realise it's time to evacuate, it's too bloody late.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:33 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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I expect a lot of overlap between this thread and "Driving in flood waters.Why do people do it?" https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ighlight=flood
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:49 AM
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They showed a family on NBC news last night that actually had some valid reasons. They were poor and couldn't afford the gas to leave or get back, nor could they afford a hotel or the food to eat on the road. On top of that, the wife had a weakened immune system and could easily have gotten sick from being in a shelter. So I can buy that kind of thinking.

I think in the case of New Orleans and Katrina, a lot of the poor stayed in their houses because if they left, looters would come and they'd definitely lose everything they owned, whereas if they stayed they could at least save some of their possessions. When you don't have much, you really don't want to lose what you have.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:29 AM
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They showed a family on NBC news last night that actually had some valid reasons. They were poor and couldn't afford the gas to leave or get back, nor could they afford a hotel or the food to eat on the road. On top of that, the wife had a weakened immune system and could easily have gotten sick from being in a shelter. So I can buy that kind of thinking.
I hope they do a follow up with that couple. Hard to believe they have no savings or credit they could tap to avoid drowning.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:42 AM
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Part of it is also the fact that if you evacuate you may not be able to get back to your home for days or even weeks. If you're there through the windstorm and your house does get some damage you can mitigate a lot of it with some plywood and tarps while the homes of evacuees are taking in ten or twenty inches of rain through the roof/windows.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:01 AM
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The fact that the in this situation the possible positives (may be able to limit post-hurricane damage, stop looters) are generally massively outweighed by the possible negatives (death, injury need of rescuing, possibly endangering the lives of others) doesn't really come in to it for some. Staying is easier, running away would be cowardly, and people in general are terrible at analysing risk. In other circumstances, people positively applaud the 'blitz spirit' of those who stay and deal with disasters.

Others are just straight up in denial, they don't want to think about it, and if they do at all, well, weather forecasting isn't 100% accurate, they've stayed/left when previous severe weather was forecast and everything was fine. The dangers aren't 'real', but normality is. Especially if they know other people who are also staying.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:14 AM
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Hard to believe they have no savings or credit they could tap to avoid drowning.
You seriously underestimate how poor many people are.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:48 AM
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You seriously underestimate how poor many people are.
I got a strong vibe from the wife that they were cheap, not poor.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:37 AM
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There's also the 'if I'm there I can mitigate any damage' mindset.
Lose a few shingles & getting a drip in the roof? I can put a bucket under it which I can empty so that I don't have water coming in for days.
If I stay, I can prop up something against a window if it breaks so rainwater isn't blowing in or have more time to move my furniture upstairs.

Of course this storm is predicted to have water in some people's bedrooms...their second story bedrooms!


FTR, I didn't evacuate either, but then I'm in PA.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:45 AM
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You seriously underestimate how poor many people are.
This.

40% of Americans can't cover an unexpected $400 expense. I can see an emergency evacuation (several hundred miles and several days costing approximately this much. To the extent that it costs less than that, there will be more people that can make it happen, but it will still leave a lot of people who just don't have the cash/credit reserves to cover it.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:54 AM
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1) The media crying wolf.

2) Some people just flat-out underestimate what a hurricane can do.

3) some people have lived through weaker ones and don't realize the difference between a Category 2 and a 4/5.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:06 AM
Roy Batty Roy Batty is offline
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I would never criticize anyone for staying home during a hurricane/tornado incident, even if there is a mandatory evacuation issued for the area. I have never been in a situation where I've gone through any kind of evacuation, mandatory or otherwise (knock on wood), but I know that if such a thing were to happen - I would not want to leave home.

In addition to the obvious reasons that people don't leave, i.e. lack of finances for a hotel room & no family/friends to stay with in the interim; too ill to travel; no vehicle to leave with and/or unable to drive for whatever reason; etc. - leaving home during one of these events leaves you vulnerable to any/all of the below happening:

-Going out on a highway with hundreds of others & getting stranded because of traffic (since everyone else is leaving with you) and/or because you run out of gas. Screw that.

-Going along with the above, driving out somewhere where there's a lot of water & having the car get flooded/ruined because of this, and then having to abandon the car - and then having no place to go. Screw that as well.

- Going into a shelter and getting shot/stabbed/injured. I've done volunteer work in homeless shelters, and those places can definitely be dangerous. Add to this the added tensions of many people there in close quarters to each other (unwillingly) & also worried/stressed out because of the potential storm damage to their homes/worry about their family/worry about their employment, etc. - and you have a recipe for disaster.

-Not being home to deal with some flood damage that happens to the house - that could have been mitigated/prevented if I were home, i.e. a small hole in the roof, water entering the house from outside, etc. - I've gone over this in more detail below.

-Have your valuables be vulnerable to theft by looters/criminals who break into your house in your absence, by taking advantage of the situation re: numerous people leaving their homes empty & being gone for an indeterminate length of time. We saw this during Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, and I'm sure it's happened in other cases as well.

Going along with the above:

-I do pay close attention to these hurricane/tornado events; and, I do live in an area that has experienced some flooding - i.e., there have been times where there has been heavy rain here, and streets have flooded. People have also drowned in my area due to driving into a flooded area & miscalculating the amount of water they're driving into. I've also seen water coming OUT of storm drains in some areas, since the system is getting flooded.

- In one case, during an extremely torrential downpour one of my down-spouts was filled with leaves (which I didn't know ahead of time), and because of the blockage excess water was dumping all over my front yard area, uncomfortably close to my home. Since I was home, after some difficulty I unclogged the blockage & make sure the water was flowing through the down-spout normally. However, if I hadn't been home to address the situation, my house may have gotten at least somewhat flooded - which is why I'm emphasizing that it's important for homeowners to be home & deal with issues like this.

Last edited by Roy Batty; 09-13-2018 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:14 AM
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To be fair to the people of Galveston in 1900, evacuating the area hadn't been an option. There was no advance warning system in existence back then. The first people knew of the hurricane was its arrival.
That's not entirely true; they had warning that there was a storm in the Gulf from Cuban Jesuits who were amateur meteorologists, and from various steamships that had passed through or near it.

The head of the NWS just didn't put the pieces together, and was of the opinion that the geographic situation of Galveston made it unlikely to be seriously damaged by a hurricane(!). Read up on Isaac Cline if you want to learn more.

I think part of the reluctance to evacuate is that you have to evacuate usually days beforehand, and a hurricane's path and intensity can change significantly in that time, so unless it's expected to be some kind of Hurricane Carla monster storm, a lot of people will take their chances instead of evacuating 2-3 days before EVERY possible storm might hit.

The issue is really where the go/no-go line is drawn, both in terms of storm intensity and speed as well as projected path. To use a recent example, Hurricane Harvey was one that few people in Houston evacuated for. Why? Because it was a Category 2 expected to make landfall near Corpus Christi. But it intensified dramatically in the 18 hours prior to landfall, and then took an extremely atypical path up the coast and back out over the Gulf instead of the more usual sweeping NE curve inland. So everyone was caught entirely flat-footed. But the vast majority of the time a hurricane hits near Corpus, the Houston/Galveston is only minimally affected at worst.

So everyone has this time window in which they can evacuate without extreme trouble, and the problem is that it's far enough out that much can change between then and landfall. Since evacuating your family probably costs on the order of several hundred bucks at a minimum if you don't have family or friends to go stay with, it's understandable that most people aren't going to do that unless they're compelled to in some way.

Combine that with institutional bungling like what happened with the Rita evacuations (people stuck on I-45 for 20+ hours), and people start thinking that they're not going to leave unless there's a serious risk to life and limb.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:02 AM
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Having done it; Agnes 72 Wyoming Valley and the resulting flood:

1) Looters. Go after my stuff and I'll cap your ass

2) If I am there maybe I can do something to rescue things, reduce damage -- sandbag, move stuff, and board until the last possible moment

3) Weather predictions are always wrong (not)

4) I refuse to panic

5) Someone from Uncle Sugar can always rescue me if it really gets that bad

You can justify a lot of things in your brain especially when you are either young (and therefor immortal) or old and facing the loss of everything from your life and past. It is not a good idea but we do it.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:38 AM
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Having been through Sandy and evacuated at the last possible minute, I can understand the mindset of staying. I had it but changed my mind just before it would have been too late to do so. Our house suffered substantial damage and, had we been there, all we could have done was watch (in the dark) as the water came in. Sandy wasn't even still a hurricane when it made landfall and we weren't on the "wrong" side of the center of the storm when it did. Don't be dumb. If you can get out, get out.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:46 AM
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Honestly, a lot of good reasons here, but I think all of this starts with one simple thing:

It is not possible to comprehend how dangerous a truly massive hurricane is.

You just cannot visualize it unless you have been in one. On video it just looks like a bad storm. Every time there's a hurricane you get to see reporters down by the water, wind whipping sharp rain into their face, yelling at the camera, "IT'S VERY WINDY, BOB!" at the dude back in the studio, and you think "I can handle that. Might even be fun."

When they tell you some parts of the Carolinas could have 6-foot, even 9-foot storm surges, that's just a number. 200-KPH winds, just a number. Maybe you've seen a funny picture of a guy going down his own street in a canoe. You dco not understand that if you are outside and caught in a six-foot high flood, you are going to die. Six feet doesn't sound like much - it's shallower than a decent backyard pool - but when it's rushing, the force will quickly overwhelm any human being. (If you have the stomach for it, watch videos of the Boxing Day tsunami; there are videos of people being swept to their deaths in water no deeper than six feet.) 200-kph wind will also kill any exposed person; that is not just a strong wind, it's the hand of God.

You just cannot comprehend that kind of force; it is beyond normal human experience.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:48 AM
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Mostly, it is the media calling wolf. In this part of the world, they do much the same thing with Winter storms several times a year. Secondarily, there is the impulse to stay and protect what you have, especially if what you have is all you have and it is very little. I've talked with a couple folks who had the attitude that "everybody dies from something."
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:15 PM
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Hurricane Andrew 1992 in Miami survivor here. I had lived there through the previous 35 years and had experienced hurricanes Donna, Cleo and Betsy plus several minimal hurricanes and tropical storms whose names I’ve forgotten. All were bad (no power for extended periods, windstorm damage to buildings, coastal storm surge, local “ponding” (south Florida is flat as a billiard table, so rainfall just accumulates for some time since there’s no gravity-concentrating terrain to speed the flow). Nobody except those living in trailers or in “flood zones” as then defined even thought about leaving.

Evacuation requires (1) knowledge of the potential effects, (2) overcoming the “macho factor” (its just a storm), (3) resources, (4) warning, and (5) a plan. But by 1992 the majority of south Floridians had zero experience with hurricanes and little respect for them. So scratch #s 1, 2 & 5. Resources is tough to gauge because Florida is so long that even just getting to the northern end takes 8 or more hours - and you may still not be outside the “cone of destruction”. It’s not like you can drive an hour or two and be up in the hills. This increases the expense and the need for an early decision which may turn out to be unnecessary and mitigates against leaving.

As for warning, Andrew surprised everyone. It was three days out and basically east of us. Common knowledge predicted a curve to the right, and a landfall perhaps in GA. Two days out it was still east of us, but now we expected it to curve and hit Jacksonville. One day out it was STILL east of us and we were saying “Poor Palm Beach!” But no, it continued practically due west and began to intensify. By that time the highways were crowded with tourists and residents and accidents and the resulting gridlock made evacuation moot. We battened down the hatches.

But it was truly horrible and life threatening, both during and in the aftermath. Cat 5 winds are indeed properly characterized as utterly devastating. I saw chain link fences blown away, complete with steel posts and concrete footers. Chain link fences!! How much wind resistance is there in a wire fence?!?

I came to conclude that in the future, while I might stay in a solid house outside today’s flood zones for a Cat 1, maybe a Cat 2, anything more and me, the better half, and the dogs are getting in the RV and heading for Arkansas. Early. The lesson of Andrew is that I will much prefer to cut my way back in afterward than to crawl out from under the rubble and thank my lucky stars that I’m alive.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:32 PM
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This.

40% of Americans can't cover an unexpected $400 expense. I can see an emergency evacuation (several hundred miles and several days costing approximately this much. To the extent that it costs less than that, there will be more people that can make it happen, but it will still leave a lot of people who just don't have the cash/credit reserves to cover it.
That article says "cash on hand" to cover $400 expense. Nothing about available credit via credit cards.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:34 PM
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I hope they do a follow up with that couple. Hard to believe they have no savings or credit they could tap to avoid drowning.
They're Americans so not hard to believe at all that they are living paycheck to paycheck
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:49 PM
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I think way down deep inside, a lot of people don't want to look foolish or like cowards. Bump mentioned the Rita evacuations. Half of south Texas moved out and had the roads clogged for days. More people died from the evacuation process (nearly 100) than they did due to the storm. Lots of people criticized the evacuees for over-reacting. That's a hard position to be in. we don't like that feeling.

I think even further down people have some deep belief that if they're there to witness it, they can do something about it. They're mostly wrong.

I have a friend who's riding it out in Newport, NC about 2 blocks from the ocean. I think it's stupid. I hope I hear from him again.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:52 PM
Roy Batty Roy Batty is offline
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When they tell you some parts of the Carolinas could have 6-foot, even 9-foot storm surges, that's just a number. 200-KPH winds, just a number. Maybe you've seen a funny picture of a guy going down his own street in a canoe. You dco not understand that if you are outside and caught in a six-foot high flood, you are going to die. Six feet doesn't sound like much - it's shallower than a decent backyard pool - but when it's rushing, the force will quickly overwhelm any human being. (If you have the stomach for it, watch videos of the Boxing Day tsunami; there are videos of people being swept to their deaths in water no deeper than six feet.) 200-kph wind will also kill any exposed person; that is not just a strong wind, it's the hand of God.
Completely understandable. However - after seeing some relatives pass from terrible illnesses (cancer, etc.) after months of suffering in hospitals, a death by drowning is not the worst way to go. And, no one lives forever anyway.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:02 PM
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Completely understandable. However - after seeing some relatives pass from terrible illnesses (cancer, etc.) after months of suffering in hospitals, a death by drowning is not the worst way to go. And, no one lives forever anyway.
What a bizarre response. What the heck are you talking about?
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:13 PM
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Secondarily, there is the impulse to stay and protect what you have, especially if what you have is all you have and it is very little. I've talked with a couple folks who had the attitude that "everybody dies from something."
This is what the fuck I'm talking about. We're all going to die at some point - of something. Staying at home during a hurricane/tornado - especially if you have nothing but your home & nowhere else to go - is completely understandable...despite the risk.

Last edited by Roy Batty; 09-13-2018 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:34 PM
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I got a strong vibe from the wife that they were cheap, not poor.
This would be my excuse for staying put. I am a cheap bastard.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:39 PM
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1 Optimism

2 can’t take your pets

3 they’re often wrong about where or how strong the storm is.

4 it’ll probably hit someone else’s house, not mine
Every year, storm waves snatch someone from a harbor in Galicia. Every year, the fall floods take several cars parked in riverbeds which spend the rest of the year dry (ramblas), all over the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

And every year, the people involved manage to be surprised, even adults who have lived in those places for their whole lives. I mean, I can understand some retiree from Sweden not having heard about gota fría floods, but dude, if you're from Valencia you have no excuse!

And yet, they manage to be surprised.
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Last edited by Nava; 09-13-2018 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
That article says "cash on hand" to cover $400 expense. Nothing about available credit via credit cards.
People who have very little cash often don't have credit cards either.
  #40  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:15 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
The charitable explanations have been given. The uncharitable one is "people who vastly overestimate their own intelligence".
I have a thread on my facebook feed (not mine, a 'friend') asking what would you do. A whole bunch of guys say "I'd put the wife and kids in the car to somewhere safe and then ride it out" - as if its less than manly to leave and they are doing some sort of macho duty,

I can't say I'm too regretful when that type of asshole gets removed from the gene pool.
  #41  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:16 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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I honestly think that with some people, it's a mental block concerning taking advice, coupled with a lack of intelligence. Not knowledge, but intelligence: If you don't know what a storm surge is, that's one thing. If you're told that the water in your area is likely to rise nine feet and you can't put that together with the fact your house is two or three feet above the water in a normal day, that's being stupid.

So couple that with an utterly unshakable desire to not do what someone tells you, regardless of what that is. Maybe it's Dunning-Kruger, where they have a completely unfounded belief in their own intelligence, or maybe it's a notion that "Cool People Never Listen" or something else which boosts their ego and blocks higher mental functions... whatever it is, they'll never be able to elucidate it, because being able to discuss things is a sign of... wait for it... intelligence, which they lack in spades.
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  #42  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:17 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
This would be my excuse for staying put. I am a cheap bastard.
The best part about being killed in a flood? No body cuts way down on the funeral expenses.
  #43  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:19 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Hurricane Andrew 1992 in Miami survivor here. I had lived there through the previous 35 years and had experienced hurricanes Donna, Cleo and Betsy plus several minimal hurricanes and tropical storms whose names I’ve forgotten. All were bad (no power for extended periods, windstorm damage to buildings, coastal storm surge, local “ponding” (south Florida is flat as a billiard table, so rainfall just accumulates for some time since there’s no gravity-concentrating terrain to speed the flow). Nobody except those living in trailers or in “flood zones” as then defined even thought about leaving.

Evacuation requires (1) knowledge of the potential effects, (2) overcoming the “macho factor” (its just a storm), (3) resources, (4) warning, and (5) a plan. But by 1992 the majority of south Floridians had zero experience with hurricanes and little respect for them. So scratch #s 1, 2 & 5. Resources is tough to gauge because Florida is so long that even just getting to the northern end takes 8 or more hours - and you may still not be outside the “cone of destruction”. It’s not like you can drive an hour or two and be up in the hills. This increases the expense and the need for an early decision which may turn out to be unnecessary and mitigates against leaving.

As for warning, Andrew surprised everyone. It was three days out and basically east of us. Common knowledge predicted a curve to the right, and a landfall perhaps in GA. Two days out it was still east of us, but now we expected it to curve and hit Jacksonville. One day out it was STILL east of us and we were saying “Poor Palm Beach!” But no, it continued practically due west and began to intensify. By that time the highways were crowded with tourists and residents and accidents and the resulting gridlock made evacuation moot. We battened down the hatches.

But it was truly horrible and life threatening, both during and in the aftermath. Cat 5 winds are indeed properly characterized as utterly devastating. I saw chain link fences blown away, complete with steel posts and concrete footers. Chain link fences!! How much wind resistance is there in a wire fence?!?

I came to conclude that in the future, while I might stay in a solid house outside today’s flood zones for a Cat 1, maybe a Cat 2, anything more and me, the better half, and the dogs are getting in the RV and heading for Arkansas. Early. The lesson of Andrew is that I will much prefer to cut my way back in afterward than to crawl out from under the rubble and thank my lucky stars that I’m alive.
The company I was working for had a subsidiary in Homestead - and I helped with cleanup - trying to rescue hard drives from PCs that had tax data on them. Yeah......
  #44  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:21 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by Roy Batty View Post
Completely understandable. However - after seeing some relatives pass from terrible illnesses (cancer, etc.) after months of suffering in hospitals, a death by drowning is not the worst way to go. And, no one lives forever anyway.
The choice we're discussing isn't between dying of cancer and dying in a flood. The choice we're looking at here is between dying in a flood and not dying in a flood.
  #45  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:36 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
I honestly think that with some people, it's a mental block concerning taking advice, coupled with a lack of intelligence. Not knowledge, but intelligence: If you don't know what a storm surge is, that's one thing. If you're told that the water in your area is likely to rise nine feet and you can't put that together with the fact your house is two or three feet above the water in a normal day, that's being stupid.

So couple that with an utterly unshakable desire to not do what someone tells you, regardless of what that is. Maybe it's Dunning-Kruger, where they have a completely unfounded belief in their own intelligence, or maybe it's a notion that "Cool People Never Listen" or something else which boosts their ego and blocks higher mental functions... whatever it is, they'll never be able to elucidate it, because being able to discuss things is a sign of... wait for it... intelligence, which they lack in spades.
See Oppositional Defiant Disorder. That might explain some of what you're talking about. These are the kind of people who can escalate a low-cost traffic stop into an arrest for disorderly conduct (or even felony assault on an officer).
  #46  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:41 PM
bump bump is offline
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I think way down deep inside, a lot of people don't want to look foolish or like cowards. Bump mentioned the Rita evacuations. Half of south Texas moved out and had the roads clogged for days. More people died from the evacuation process (nearly 100) than they did due to the storm. Lots of people criticized the evacuees for over-reacting. That's a hard position to be in. we don't like that feeling
Beyond that, and I think this has been sort of implied but not stated, hurricanes aren't always a one-and-done thing once a year. There can be multiple hurricanes that threaten your area in a single season, especially if you live on the Gulf Coast or Florida.

So people are judicious- few people, even non-poor ones, can afford to evacuate multiple times a year "just in case". They may not have the cash, or the vacation time, or even just enough time to schedule vacation time.

I'd say that if they specifically tell you to evacuate, then you're an idiot for not heeding that advice. But if you're not told to evacuate, or it's a voluntary evacuation, then there are perfectly valid reasons to stay that don't include poor risk assessment or macho stuff.
  #47  
Old 09-13-2018, 02:53 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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On the opposite I saw some people who take their evacuations very seriously. First, they have the house designed to take a storm and are ready with all the heavy shutters over the windows and such. No carpet. If things get wet no problem. Second, they have nothing of value they cant easily haul away. And third, they already have a plan where to go and have a trailer ready to haul anything they need.
  #48  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:02 PM
Gray Ghost Gray Ghost is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
...I think part of the reluctance to evacuate is that you have to evacuate usually days beforehand, and a hurricane's path and intensity can change significantly in that time, so unless it's expected to be some kind of Hurricane Carla monster storm, a lot of people will take their chances instead of evacuating 2-3 days before EVERY possible storm might hit.

The issue is really where the go/no-go line is drawn, both in terms of storm intensity and speed as well as projected path. To use a recent example, Hurricane Harvey was one that few people in Houston evacuated for. Why? Because it was a Category 2 expected to make landfall near Corpus Christi. But it intensified dramatically in the 18 hours prior to landfall, and then took an extremely atypical path up the coast and back out over the Gulf instead of the more usual sweeping NE curve inland. So everyone was caught entirely flat-footed. But the vast majority of the time a hurricane hits near Corpus, the Houston/Galveston is only minimally affected at worst.

So everyone has this time window in which they can evacuate without extreme trouble, and the problem is that it's far enough out that much can change between then and landfall. Since evacuating your family probably costs on the order of several hundred bucks at a minimum if you don't have family or friends to go stay with, it's understandable that most people aren't going to do that unless they're compelled to in some way...
A lot of this. I was in Houston for both Rita and Harvey. And Katrina before that. We saw what Katrina did to New Orleans, and it scared the shit out of us. When we heard that Rita was just as big (the stories of what it did to Gulf oil production platforms is just apocalyptic) and coming here, people freaked. I freaked. I told my boss at the time that he needed to get the hell out. I was broke, had nowhere else to go, so I stayed at the hotel I was working at, and helped provide shelter for all of the news crews that came in expecting a story.

Of course, nothing happened in Houston from Rita (unlike Beaumont), and the evac ended up killing more people than the storm. So, -1 point for believing NWS predictions. For those of you wondering about Ike, that was more of a Galveston problem than Houston, albeit the eye did go over downtown Houston, and sucked out a bunch of glass. And we lost power for about a week.

Then came Harvey. It was as bump wrote. We all thought, "Jeez, sucks to be in Corpus," and sat and watched the cloud show. I've never seen clouds move so fast across the sky. Well, other than Rita. No one thought of running from here, including me. I mean, why would we? So it's a bit of rain. We were thinking 10-15 inches, which is a ton, and the bayous will fill up, but it's nothing we hadn't seen before. Take a sick day. We weren't thinking that it'd be 45+ inches.

Then I was sitting at the computer, after dinner, looking at storm gauges, and saw the predicted stream elevation graph for the stream gauge near our house go vertical, gleefully blasting through the previous all-time elevation records. "Honey, how high up are we? I dunno either." Rush to find a topo map, see that the stream is predicting 2 feet of water at our elevation. Figure that's enough to lose our car, and we threw a bag or two of clothes in the car and ran. Made it out of Houston in the dark, about an hour or two before all of the roads closed around ~3AM. Scary drive, and lots of water was already on the road. If we'd waited until the morning, we'd have been trapped.

As it was, we didn't flood, unlike so many in Houston. The stream elevation predictions turned out to be wrong by about 5-7 feet. Which was still really close. Knowing that, we shouldn't have left and ended up spending what was a week or so in Dallas. But I'm relaying this set of stories to you to show that the NWS isn't perfect, people may have been burned by their dire predictions before, and that they may feel they can keep a better eye on their stuff and save their money if they simply hunker down. Especially if they're broke or have everything tied up in their house and possessions.

I think it's dumb. Surge kills. Albeit Florence is weakening as I type when it really should be strengthening. I don't think it's going to kill the hundreds of people I thought it might around Tuesday. But I can see why a lot of people are choosing to ride it out, rather than run and return to a lot of uncertainty.

I also can see that a bunch of those people that stay, historically end up calling 911 for help that can't come.
  #49  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:21 PM
Roy Batty Roy Batty is offline
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Originally Posted by BeeGee View Post
I think way down deep inside, a lot of people don't want to look foolish or like cowards. Bump mentioned the Rita evacuations. Half of south Texas moved out and had the roads clogged for days. More people died from the evacuation process (nearly 100) than they did due to the storm. Lots of people criticized the evacuees for over-reacting. That's a hard position to be in. we don't like that feeling.
Good point - I remember hearing about that. The idea of being stuck in heavy traffic - in the heat - and having your car eventually run out of gas - is definitely not a situation I want to ever be in. I'll take my chances with the storm. If everyone else wants to go out on the roads & end up being in a worse situation than they would be if they stayed home, so be it.
  #50  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:22 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
...3) some people have lived through weaker ones and don't realize the difference between a Category 2 and a 4/5.
Florence is now a Category 2, though, right? Isn't the danger it poses primarily from storm surge and flooding, rather than high wind?
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