Since sarcasm is a staple in the life of my family, here are 11 reasons to NOT evacuate when a life-threatening storm is approaching. I’ve had plenty of experience to accumulate reasons over the 45 years we’ve lived in a beach community.
I live in Florida on an island about a half mile from the ocean and 1 and 1/2 miles from the inlet waterway. My family and I have faced repeated evacuations. When our children were younger, we told them that they could bring one thing with them that they could not live without. We had a hurricane box with needed supplies, water and food for a week. We learned to pack a week of clothing in about five minutes. We had a big supply of candles and a gas lantern. We left our home at the first call for evacuation, long before the traffic jams or mandatory evacuation orders were given and house to house searches were performed by the police.
Each year, many others stay on the island. Therefore, I’ve heard all the excuses for not leaving. However, I’ve accumulated 11 reasons that I believe motivate people to stay in dangerous places.
1. I have a death wish for myself and my family.
2. Because I enjoy watching my home burn down to the ground should there be a gas leak that would cause a fire near my home, I won’t leave. I know that 40 mile-an-hour winds cause fires to spread. Yet, I assume that my life is The Great Exception and my home won’t burn down like the house down the street.
4. The possibility of losing my roof is common; but it certainly will not happen to me or my house.
5. I am a thrill seeker and risking my life is the biggest thrill of a lifetime. Riding a roller coaster is a small thrill. Watching trees fall onto my roof and trying to dodge broken glass is much more exciting.
6. I am an intelligent person; but I am stupid when it comes to common sense involving my life and limbs.
7. I truly believe that I am the strongest person who ever lived. I am much stronger than any storm a hundred mile wide pounding 90 mile-per-hour winds for 12 to 14 hours.
8. Should I have to be rescued, I enjoy putting other people’s lives at risk.
9. While I’m the first person to give lip-service to the heroes in my community, I do not truly value the lives of our firemen and police officers. Therefore, I will happily put their lives at risk so that they can rescue me in the middle of the storm.
11. The fact that I can take my pets with me and deliver them from danger does not make sense to me. Even though almost all hotels will waive their restrictions on pets and keeping a pet safely in a car makes more sense than putting their lives in danger, they are such a convenient excuse why not use it and put their lives in danger also?
Of course, there are exceptional circumstances. During Sandy, the floods were higher than predicted. Yet, people who lived on these islands did not leave until their homes, clothes, shoes and outerwear were underwater. They have no coats, food or water. It is sadder than anyone can imagine.
However, when devastation can be seen approaching, isn’t it common sense to simply pack a bag and leave?