The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? After falsely warning the villagers of a wolf a few times, they wouldn’t believe him when there was actual danger.

Sometimes I feel the news media need to read that story. It’s been almost 11 years since a hurricane hit Florida. Nearly every year since then (or maybe every year), our newspaper has warned of an active hurricane season with dire warnings of the damage the storms will cause the state. Any time a storm is predicted to even come close, we’re given serious warnings about how to prepare and told what all the damage could be.

Now, on the one hand, it is good to be prepared. There could always be a surprise where the storm hits harder than expected, or changes course, or whatnot, and it would be better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. However, I’m afraid the overly dire warnings have the opposite effect. After so many times of being warned with nothing bad actually happening, I think people see the news in the same way as the boy who cried wolf and just ignore a lot of the warnings.

I could be wrong. Maybe people do take the warnings more seriously than I think. Or if they don’t, maybe it’s because a storm hasn’t hit in so long and so people don’t remember the reality of a hurricane making landfall while still a full hurricane.

Or maybe it’s just that Floridians prefer to prepare by throwing hurricane parties. Off to check and see if TS Hermine will become a hurricane before it makes landfall. . .

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