Quote: I am still stunned at the number of friends and neighbors I have here in South Tampa who were ordered to evacuate, and chose not to.
Hopefully, the heartbreaking pictures and videos from Charley's devestation will change some minds for next time, but I'm afraid all that will happen is additional complacency.
Luck isn't a substitute for *thought* and knowledge, but I'm afraid I'd have to agree, much of our society depends on luck and it is just a matter of time when that luck will turn sour and they will wish (those that survive) that they had taken the time to learn to never take a tropical system, of any size, for granted.
We in our trailer park were never told to evacuate...and of course, many of my neighbors didn't believe me when I told them to prepare for the worst as I didn't believe the current forecasts. I packed and left just as the first bad squall band came by....spent the night with friends in a 'real' house. While my trailer survived, it was damaged by pieces of a few trailers down the street that didn't surveive. Part of their roof was in my porch causing some dents and ripping the screened windows to shreds. Perhaps, they (and they were among those I talked to) will take better heed when warned to leave sometime in the future when a storm threatens....nah, I doubt it, like your post indicated, they'll somehow figure out how to 'remain lucky'...after all, they survived, didn't they?
A forecast is NOT a promise!
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