NPR

Why Stay During A Hurricane? Because It's Not As Simple As 'Get Out'

As rescues continue after Hurricane Michael, officials expressed frustration at people who didn't evacuate. But experts say people's decisions to stay are almost always carefully considered.
Brian Bartlett from the South Florida Search and Rescue team, right, checks in on Tom Garcia after Hurricane Michael passed through Mexico Beach, Fla. Mr. Garcia said he stayed in his home through the storm and he had to hold the sliding glass doors shut as the wind tore through. Source: Joe Raedle

Brock Long was frustrated. Yet again, the FEMA administrator said, people in the path of a powerful hurricane had ignored evacuation orders.

Hurricane Michael had leveled the small Florida city of Mexico Beach and destroyed large parts of nearby Panama City. The death count was rising as search and rescue workers pulled bodies from the rubble.

"Unfortunately in this country we seem to not learn the lesson," Long said, his exasperation audible as he spoke to reporters a few days after the storm. "When we ask people at the local and state level to heed the warnings, dang it, do it! Get out!"

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