The news about incoming hurricane Florence got me thinking about this, again. I’ve pondered it before, around past disasters.
Hurricane Florence has been in the news for the last couple of days. On Tuesday, the governor of South Caroline issued an evacuation order for the entire sea coast of that state, the order has been adjusted as the storm has gotten closer and predictions have gotten tighter.
Yet still people decide to ride out the storm at home. Ok, that’s their choice. We have a whole thread on why people might chose to do that.
But once a flood/hurricane/wild fire/blizzard etc has been identified as a major threat, and warning has been given, how much support does local/state/federal government owe to those people, DURING the disaster. If you chose to stay in your home in California until it is surrounded by wild fire, should the government be risking the lives of rescuers to come save you? If you decide you’ll throw some plywood over the windows, buy a few flats of water and extra batteries, and stay at home during a hurricane, should police/fire/national guard/etc be risking their lives to get you out of your fully flooded house, while 100 MPH winds whip around them?
Yes, we should be trying to help or save people after the disaster, when the risk to first responders should be more controllable, but what about during?
This doesn’t apply to people caught in spur of the moment events (although I feel sort of the same way about people that
Personally, I believe that if you chose to stay, despite being warned, then you have also decided to take on the risks associated with that, and that others should not have to face high risks due to your miscalculations. With all of the information we have available to us today, it’s pretty hard to reasonably claim that you didn’t know there was a storm coming, or that the wild fire you’ve been smelling is closing in on you.
I have a lot of respect for the people that are first responders and rescuers. It takes a lot of guts and training and dedication to do these jobs. The rest of us should at least be working to mitigate the risks they take, saving us. I expect that the next week will be filled with stories of heroic actions taken to save the victims of hurricane Florence. I hope that rescuers don’t end up paying the price for this actions.