Hurricane Matthew is heading towards us. Are we going to pack up and leave or are we going to stay and what makes either decision better?

I am, in fact, supposed to leave. The governor has made it a mandatory evacuation for my area. I’m twenty miles inland and I should go another 80 miles west. To where?

There isn’t any place there to actually go to. There is an order to leave, but then live in my car for the next few days. There aren’t a quarter million (figuring four people per room and the one million ordered to leave) hotel rooms available at least 100 miles from the ocean. The ocean is what people come to see and most of the hotel rooms in South Carolina are oceanside from Myrtle Beach to Charleston to Hilton Head Island. All places that have been ordered to evacuate.

So the first issue is where to go.

The second issue is why to go.

There is a fable about a Little Boy Who Cried “Wolf” where after screaming for help several times out of boredom or loneliness, there is finally a real wolf but no one comes when he calls because they figure it’s just another prank.

The news, the social media, the clickbait have all taught us that everyone is “shocked” and “couldn’t believe” and are generally amazed that life happens. The catastrophizing of everyday events has left us all jaded and unwilling to click on the 5 foods that can kill you or even the 5 foods that will save your life. It’s all just clickbait and we are tired of clicking for nothing (or worse, a slideshow). So we scroll past.

So the outlets crank things up even higher in the hopes of getting our eyes on the ads, something we have assiduously trained ourselves to not do.

And the spiral goes ever upwards. “This is bad” used to get our notice. Then it didn’t. “This is worse” used to get our notice. Then it didn’t. “This is disastrous” used to get our notice. Then it didn’t. So they keep trying and we keep not listening even when it may be in our best interest to heed the warning.

I’m torn. I’ve looked at NOAA’s maps. The storm is supposed to stay off the coast. I’m twenty miles inland. I’m not on the water. But … I’ve lived through a Cat 2 making landfall right here and it wasn’t that bad. But …  I’ve listened, as nauseum, to the tales of Hurricane Hugo. I saw what happened with Hurricane Katrina. I realize that hurricanes are monstrous storms.

But there is no place to actually go and I am twenty miles inland. The order to evacuate is because no one wants to come and rescue me. But will I really need rescuing? Am I safer in my built to hurricane standards house or my crappy little car someplace farther inland?

Is this evacuation for me or for the protection of the state against lawsuits? Everyone sues everything for any untoward event. Is this just to keep a lawsuit from happening regardless of how inconvenient or unhelpful it is for the evacuees or is this for my safety?

All this is running through my head. I know I can’t trust my government to help me. I can only trust my government to cover its own ass. So I am left without enough information to make a good decision. I don’t like being in a position of so much doubt. I know a hurricane is coming. I don’t know the best place for my ass to be when it hits.

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