This was no cry wolf.
No howling wolf with no results...
People complained when ones did not leave... when "nothing" was done.
People complained when ones left and "something" was done
No one would know if the levees would hold. Thank goodness they did. But had they not held, a tremendous amount of lives were saved because of this major evacuation.
If the people did not evacuate and the levees did not hold, then heads would have been rolling about the failure of the officials, failure of the people who did not leave, you name 'em, somebody would have had something to say.
Anyone with half a brain knows that if you will live in a post Kastrina Gulf Coast or for that fact anywhere that may be disaster prone, you better have an evacuation plan something to get out of harm's way.
Sounds like good common sense.
Even if you have had 100 + false starts, all it takes is ONE which is what Katrina showed.
I remember people used to tease me though somewhat gently when I would get out at a Cat 2 and those same people stopped teasing with Katrina. Though N.O. had not had, prior to Katrina, something that major since '64 Hurricane Betsy, the stage had been prepared for a Katrina.
The bottom line is the area is still struggling to regroup from Katrina with/ without a Gustav. Or for that matter since we are only halfway through the hurricane season ,all the others that are queue out in the ocean. What has been so sad is, as was commented to me yesterday by an observer who themselves would have probably not paid attention if they did not known me and that New Orleans was my home, that how many people they knew that paid little to no attention to this storm. That apparently since it was not happening to them or they since they had formulated opinions about "those people" it was nothing more then a blip to them along with blips that happen in a given day.
Some of that is indeed human nature. We tend to pay more attention to things that happen in our world and anything beyond our nose tips has not a lot of relevance for us in real time. And if one does pay attention for a second, we very quickly form opinions and judgements , in 20 second bites, to justify unfortunately with a jaded cynicism so we do not have to respond.
There is a huge opportunity right now to go back and correct what was not done in Katrina and the fact that this evacuation seemingly went so well is evidence when people work together and put their heads/experience/wisdom together show we have a capabilities to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
Though not perfect this was a good test run. We may not have another opportunity for a trial run.
We could fall down and get up many times. Will one stop and throw in the towel because they didn't get the major dramatic rush they thought they would get with watching vicariously as this was the newest action flick? Or overlooking the obvious that perhaps this was a necessary trial run? Working out the "bugs" so to speak.
Or the cynics claims of "Aha! Oh they just cried wolf so lets not bother" until another Katrina like issue threatens to destroy it/us all?"
Perhaps at that point it will just simply water under the bridge (pun intended)
All it takes is one time...
Just one time.