20 Jul 2017

Kite surfing in the ocean with waves crashing behind

From “hurricane amnesia” to hurricane parties, too many are taking risks that can only be described as downright crazy. Last October when Hurricane Matthew hit Florida, leading the hurricane parties was Vanilla Ice who vowed to ride out a hurricane 4 with an “extreme weather live-tweeting” gimmick.  Considering that Hurricane Matthew was tagged as the most powerful storm to hit the Atlantic coast in over 10 years and the Governor Scott’s call to evacuate, it was a terrible decision to make for a person with over 800,000 Twitter followers.

Vanilla Ice was not the only one with poor decision-making skills that week.  There were dozens of people on the beach drinking, surfing, or partying and a few who even wanted to wait for the storm to pass so they could start looting stores.

Some of the crazy antics included:

  • Going to the beach to take selfies with the high waves
  • Taking your dog for a walk on the beach
  • Taking your children to the shoreline

According to authorities, many people tend to have what they call “hurricane amnesia” and a strange tendency to think that hurricanes named after women are less dangerous than hurricanes named after men. This was revealed by researchers working jointly from the Arizona State University and the University of Illinois even as they saw that “girly named hurricanes” have historically shown more wrath than hurricanes named after men.

From 1950 to 2012, hurricanes named after females (not including Audrey and Katrina) averaged 46 deaths while hurricanes named after men averaged 23 deaths

Hurricane amnesia is not just about dismissing the potential dangers of a storm but underplaying it and calling awareness campaigns as scare tactics for profit. While there may be some truth to the business-for-profit point of view, responsible business owners will never resort to fake news to sell their products. In fact, this is one way to separate the legitimate businesses from scams.

Reputable businesses will always adhere to the strict government protocol and regulations. When a hurricane bulletin is released, they don’t send out blister mails or start a scare campaign to sell their products. They will start being concerned for the safety of residents and the protection of their property. They become part of the community in helping to rebuild lives, working with government offices by contributing what they can to restore order and security.

It’s just more difficult when there are those who take unnecessary risks during the height of a storm for the sake of adventure or short-lived fame.