Monday, September 01, 2008


No one can blame city, state and Federal officials for their concern over the fate of New Orleans with a hurricane aimed at the city. One can, however, ponder the over-reaction that occurs time and again after a major event, especially this time with the memory of Hurricane Katrina still fresh. Everyone is mobilized. Citizens of New Orleans have left. The Republican Party has cut back its convention in distant St. Paul, MN.

If Nature holds true to course, winds will howl and rain will fall, but there will be no major damage to the city. Then, of course, citizens will grouse that they were inconvenienced for no reason. Government will defend itself for telling citizens to evacuate.

Unfortunately, there is no balanced communication in a situation like this. It's binary. Evacuate or not. A communication with exceptions for those living on high ground wouldn't work because citizens would not understand it. Some would stay who ought to leave and others would leave who didn't have to. So, officials used a no-exceptions message. They will deal with fall-out later, and that is the way it should be.


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