Warnings Are A Lost Cause For Many People
by James Potter
Barry posted an article by Richard Rubman titled: ‘EAS Alert / CA Fire Sparks Key Discussions.’ The piece is well-written and researched, and outlines numerous ideas and discussions regarding changes and improvements to warning systems to alert the public in fire zones to evacuate.
Having lived in Carlsbad, CA (35 miles north of the city of San Diego) a decade ago and watched large airborne embers stream past my condo, and seeing the morning sun turn red and the beach turn black, I tell you fire on that scale is a fearsome and terrifying thing to behold. But
so is cancer. Despite the discussions in the referenced article, it is highly probable none of the improvements and changes will have any material effect.
Why not? Because of human nature to deny the real
possibility of losing all your possessions to fire or your life to lung cancer due to smoking. It’s too terrifying to think about — people harbor hope against hope that the fire and tumor will stop just short of their house or chest. People will only flee for their lives when they see the flames high in the sky over their neighbor’s garage, then jump in the car and join the Conga line to the freeway — and burn up in
No amount of complex alerts on iThingies or the EAS annos on radio or TV will motivate the vast majority of home owners to abandon their properties well ahead of the firestorm. Folks just won’t do it until they feel genuinely threatened — like when the house across the street
goes up in flames — then it’s way too late to escape.
What does make sense it to have your vital papers and computers and basic clothes and toiletries and a $grand or so readily accessible to be carried to your car(s) to beat it the hell outta Dodge when the fire is 15 miles away but still spreading. Get the wife and kids and the dog into the wagon(s) and head down/up the freeway to a Motel 6 for a while and keep tabs on your own burg by watching TV.
If your house is consumed in the flames, at least you have your lives and can rebuild them — somewhere else.
My ten year stay in Carlsbad was idyllic for many reasons, and the most lovely and beautiful living experience of my life. I loved it there. But just like many other places in the country or on earth, there are natural disasters waiting to strike. In California’s case, it’s both fire and the San Andras Fault which one of these fine days is going to pop and California will slip into the sea. People live in California fully well aware of the risks of fire and earthquake, but do so anyway, ignoring the risk.
Earthquake warnings are another absurd joke. Can you imagine all of California attempting to escape using the 101 or Interstate 5 in a panic? Heck, ordinary drive time traffic is a parking lot. Such is life. You pays your nickel, and you takes your choice of where to live and what risks to accept. And nobody gets out of this life alive.