We have very capable scientists who are very good at figuring out the potential risks of involved in natural disasters. The trouble is in communicating that information to the people, and the people aren't always listening.
There are many steps involved with keeping people safe during natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Gathering information on wind speed and storm surge is one thing, translating that information into something people can understand is another. You add another level of complication when you call for an evacuation. Cesariojpn made this point very clear when we noted that not evacuating when you're supposed to is a good way to get yourself killed.
You should've seen the idiots during the Tsunami Evacuation in Hawaii just a few days ago. The locals know whenever Civil Defense tells you to evacuate, YOU FUCKING EVACUATE. Hell, whenever I'm in Honolulu, I make sure I have the phone # and addressed of relatives and friends inland just in case (the hotel I usually go to (Pagoda Hotel, conveniently located near Ala Moana Shopping Center/Transit Hub, Hawaii's biggest Walmart on Keeaumoku (24 hours open!), and the numerous strip clubs on Kapiolani) is about a few blocks from the listed Tsunami Induction Zone, but better safe than sorry). However the tourists are complete idiots when it comes to this sort of stuff.
The latest one had tourists going to the shore MINUTES before the wave was supposed to have arrived waiting for the waves as if it would be a small wake or similar. IN THE DARK. The traffic cameras have been pointed to the shore, and you often see the camera operator zooming in on some stupid "haole" tourist(s) walking to the shoreline like it's nothing. The best shot was a traffic camera pointing itself to a gazebo on a small dock where no less than 10 tourists looking out into the sea wondering where the Tsunami was. Even worse is cars going down empty streets and blasting thru police cordons like it was nothing. And you got the local news stations just facepalming like mad when they see this going on. And you know if the Tsunami had hit, these idiots (or relatives of said idiots) will sue the Government for not protecting them from their gross stupidity.
Even then while watching the news, you still have those idiots of this Hurricane coming out trying to see the AWESOME power of the storm.
Keeping people safe is a challenge for scientific institutions and government agencies, especially when you think of the guys standing on the beach, waiting for a tsunami to hit.
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