The Freak-Out Before the Storm
Officials try to scare Americans into preparing for hurricane season
As hurricane season approaches, officials in storm-prone states are determined to scare residents into being ready to take care of themselves — because as we all saw last year, government sure ain’t up to the job. Florida officials are broadcasting public service announcements with recordings of terrified 911 calls made during 2004’s Hurricane Ivan. Mississippi’s “Stay Alert. Stay Alive” campaign urges people to pack an evacuation kit and, like many states, orders residents to stockpile at least three days’ worth of food and water. Recent polls show that a majority of residents remain stubbornly unprepared. Maybe they will be jolted into action by two new studies supporting the theory that global warming is linked to more intense, destructive storms. Now that’s scary.