Monday, September 15, 2008


The stories from Galveston, TX of people who tried to ride out the hurricane are a tale of hubris. They didn't respect the power of wind and water and the order to evacuate ahead of the storm. It seems that in every hurricane, there are those who think they can "ride out" nature and be OK in the end. In fact, a few were OK, but many others called for help during and after the time that Hurricane Ike passed through. The authorities expressed "frustration" that they had to rescue people who should have left anyway.

This is a lesson for communicators. No matter how one sends a message and no matter the weight of the message itself, there will always be those who ignore it and "know better." These are the "10 percent" who just don't get it.

Fortunately it appears there were few lives lost when the hurricane blew ashore but rescuers lost valuable time doing what they should not have done. The "10 percent" drive up cost and risk for society overall, but they feel justified in ignoring authority -- that is, until they get into trouble.


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