Why Do People Stay in the Face of Disaster?
Kevin Felts 11.26.18
Awhile back we talked about the One Thing All Hurricanes Have In Common, which is people staying home. People in the path of the hurricane should know their chance of survival. Then again, people evacuate so many times and nothing happens, so why should they evacuate this time?
Perhaps the same can be said about the recent wildfire in California, such as the Camp Fire.
As of November 23, 2018 the Camp Fire death toll was 84, with 475 still missing.
California officials released an update late Friday night on the most destructive and deadly wildfire in the state’s history.
The Butte County Sherriff’s office announced that 475 individuals are still unaccounted and raised the death toll to 84 in the Camp Fire, which has scorched Northern California. The blaze has destroyed more structures than the state’s other seven worst wildfires combined.
Did the people ignore the warnings? Maybe they had nowhere to go? Or maybe they could not bring themselves to leave their home? Whatever the reason, it cost them their lives.
Why is this topic important? In the Middle Ages, people who could flee the cities typically would. There are numerous accounts of royalty isolating themselves on their estates while the Black Death ravaged cities and country side.
From a prepper / survivalist point of view, natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires are a test run for larger events, such as a nuclear strike, or a disease outbreak. If the people ignored the warnings about a hurricane or wildfire, would they ignore warnings of a new disease? For the sake of discussion let’s say there is a replay of the 1918 Spanish Flu.
We have numerous examples of people ignoring warnings of a wildfire or hurricane, would they also ignore warnings of a new disease? Would they avoid contact with other people, or would they go to populated areas, such as mall, schools, churches… etc?
Yes, there are people who are unable to evacuate in the face of a disaster. Sometimes the disaster moves so fast people do not have time to get out of the way. Which brings up another topic of how fast a new disease could spread in our modern world. Let’s save that for another article.
With the Camp Fire of California, why are so many people dead, and so many more missing? Wouldn’t it make sense to leave the area? Surely residents had enough warning to leave? This brings up another topic, and that is staying informed. Did the missing and dead even know about the fire until it was too late?
We may never know why so many people died in Camp Fire, or why so many are missing. Perhaps by asking questions and looking for answers, the readers can help prevent such tragic loss of life.