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? :smack:

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

“I’ve been through bad storms before, I can handle this.”

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.

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.

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.

The charitable explanations have been given. The uncharitable one is “people who vastly overestimate their own intelligence”.

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:

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

I expect a lot of overlap between this thread and “Driving in flood waters.Why do people do it?”

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.

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.

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.

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.

You seriously underestimate how poor many people are.

I got a strong vibe from the wife that they were cheap, not poor.