Storm Complacency A Real Concern In South Florida

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s hurricane season and something we’ve been dealing with a lot lately is storm complacency which is a concern here in South Florida.

The area has gone years without a direct hit, but that nearly came to an end last year when Hurricane Matthew threatened.

Emergency management officials, like the NHC’s Senior Hurricane Specialist Daniel Brown, thinks Matthew was a good wake up call for a lot of folks here in South Florida.

“I think the hard part is going to make sure people do that again next time because we didn’t get the brunt of Matthew.”

Some of the models had Matthew heading right for us presenting an urgency that South Floridians hadn’t faced in years.

That motivated Pembroke Pines resident Keith Stibler to action.

“Last year I had some aluminum shutters that I put up, obviously because that was a pretty scary deal.”

Thankfully, Matthew missed South Florida.  But you never know when that luck will run out.

The NHC’s Brown says that’s something we all need to keep in mind.

“It’s a good reminder you’re going to have to make those preparations three, four, maybe five times but you only get hit once, but that one time you’ll be very thankful you actually made those preparations.”

WATCH THE CBS4 SPECIAL “HURRICANE SEASON 2017: SURVIVE THE STORM

A number of locals CBS4 News spoke to remain hurricane complacent.

Maggie, who relocated to Brickell from New York a number of years ago, is one of them.

“I took hurricane season seriously when I first moved down here and now again, I’m kind of complacent even regardless of last year’s scare. I probably won’t have water, flashlights or any of the necessities unless it’s a real threat that they say is coming like next week or this weekend.”

Coral Gables resident Iris Rodriguez agrees.

“You always think you’re gonna get hit & then it never comes. And you go to Publix at the last minute & there’s nothing.”

What does Rodriguez think it’s going to take to snap people out of their complacency?

“I think when we get hit by another big one. When we get hit by another big one, then people will start taking action.”

 

More from Rick Folbaum
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