I have covered hurricane threats to the Southeast since 1968, and I was surprised by the evacuation orders given in advance of Hurricane Matthew. Not disapproving, just surprised.
But that is neither here nor there. A few days ago, closer to home, I had some harsh things to say about the drive to get us all out of our cars and onto bicycles on Maui.
A woman who was at the same meeting stopped me in the grocery last night to lament that I was "misinformed."
Think about this: If we adopt the bicycle method and, on the rare occasions when we need an auto, we use car sharing services, which exist in a smallish way in some of our big cities now, and evacuation becomes a priority from those cities, who gets to use the cars and who evacuates on bicycles?
Evacuation of large, congested cities is difficult enough (to say nothing of small islands in the North Pacific Ocean), which is why I was so surprised by the governors' orders. As I was also by the Broward County government's closure of the roads just before the storm arrived.
It is clear that since 1968, when it was every man for himself, the bureaucrats have been thinking seriously about the consequences of big storms, and they have run up against the hard choices.