Monday, September 18, 2006

Government isn't trust. In other news the Pope is still Catholic

and bears dump in the woods.

From the Lansing State Journal

But a new report out of Michigan State University shows they do have plenty of reasons to worry about their jobs; man-made reasons.

For starters, mentioning the government in any evacuation order will make Michiganians less likely to comply with it.


That's just one fascinating and disturbing finding in a poll conducted through MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (

The survey sought to identify Michigan attitudes toward emergency evacuation orders, with some respondents first prompted by reminders of 2005's destructive hurricanes.

If you are a disaster-response official, the best news is that 69 percent of all respondents said they were "very likely" to comply with an evacuation order.

From there, though, it gets murky.

Researchers found attitudes toward evacuation shifted along with government involvement. The best response came with an evacuation order that made no mention of any government agency. Likely compliance rates dropped with each successive level of government, with the mention of the Federal Emergency Management Agency getting the worst response.

If the #@%@ hits the fan, I certainly won't be counting on government. Government isn't competent, nor trustworthy enough to get the job done.

1 comment:

Keith Richards said...

I know people who live in a major hurricane risk area (Florida keys) and they never evacuate. Their big complaint is that evacuation orders are often issued before the path of the hurricane is confirmed, so that fleeing could actually move them from a safe area to a dangerous area. Furthermore, sitting out a hurricane in their own home gives them access to the emergency supplies they have stored there. If they get caught in a hurricane away from home they are worried they may be stuck helpless in a strange place. Finally, when a hurricane does strike the government may prevent them from returning home for days or possibly even weeks. During this time their property is unprotected and vulnerable to looters. They feel it is better to stick it out in their hurricane fortified home then face these other risks.

They tell me this is a common attitude down where they live.

A big part of the problem comes from the "cry wolf" syndrome. They get evacuation orders several times every year, yet in all the years they have lived in their home a hurricane has never struck them head on. They also know that statistically the odds of taking a direct hit from a major hurricane are maybe once in every 100 years. So why flee every time the wind picks up a bit?

I can understand why the government issues precautionary evacuation orders and I can understand why they choose to ignore them. In the absence of good information everyone loses. Ultimately, I prefer the third choice, to live in an area that suffers from snowstorms and cold winter days but NEVER has hurricanes.

(It is true that we get tornados every now and then, but tornados in Michigan never require large scale evacuation and rarely cause major damage over a large area.)