Evacuation Proclamation

So, we live in Houston. And no, we did not evacuate.

Here’s what people think evacuating looks like:

Young couple driving convertible at sunset

Here’s what evacuation really looks like:

rita

Deciding whether to stay or go in a natural disaster like this involves risk analysis: is my risk greater if I leave, or if I stay? But there are risks either way, and neither option is a good one – at all. The risks involved in evacuating are quite actually quite high; it’s not like you pack a light bag, make a road-trip mixtape, pick up a few cases of brewskis and hit the open road for a luxury resort in another town. And I say this because I lived here during the whole hurricane Rita fiasco, and I heard so many of my students saying they had decided to evacuate and were just going to “drive up to Austin for a nice vacation” instead of waiting out the storm…well, the photo above is the result of millions of people having that attitude at the time.

Because of that disaster, people in Houston learned their lesson, and did not evacuate unless the risk involved in staying was greater than the risk of evacuating. This is how it SHOULD be done. Yes, many of those people are now in trouble and need help. But this is what I wish the rest of the damn country would understand: we all KNEW we might end up needing help later if we stayed. But we HAD to allow the people who were in immediate danger to get out first.

People who stayed are not examples of individuals who stupidly refused to evacuate before a storm. They are examples of people who weighed the risks and rightly chose to wait things out in order to allow those in greater need to get out FIRST. And now those brave people need help, and they deserve to get it.

I haven’t even mentioned people who cannot evacuate because they have no money, no transportation, or not even the physical health and stamina needed to endure such a journey. Because honestly, I shouldn’t have to. If every single armchair warrior out there judging Houstonians online for not evacuating wants to pack up a bag and drive over here to my house to show me how to better wait out this storm, then they’re more than welcome to do so. Otherwise they can pretty much shut the entire fuck up.

Love you all!

29 thoughts on “Evacuation Proclamation

  1. I can honestly say I’ve read nothing negative from Armchair Warriors but it’s sad to think judgement would come into play during a natural disaster! Everyone is pulling for Houston and our prayers are with you!

  2. Hi Cynthia I live on the other side of the world in Brisbane Australia, and would like to let you know we are thinking of you and the residents of Houston. You are so correct in what you say. Here in Oz we call Hurricanes Cyclones. They are the same natural event. Very scary. Sending you and the people of Houston all our thoughts and prayers for a safe outcome. Thinking of the bird life and animals as well and hoping they are not too distressed or injured.

  3. First: very glad to know that you’re all right. Second, this: “But this is what I wish the rest of the damn country would understand: we all KNEW we might end up needing help later if we stayed. But we HAD to allow the people who were in immediate danger to get out first. …chose to wait things out in order to allow those in greater need to get out FIRST.” I too wasn’t aware of such armchair-commentator lunacy, but if I hear any, this is what I’ll use.

    • We’re good. It got dicey for several hours, but a valve in our levee was faulty which was causing it to back up. The valve got repaired, and now the water is slowly receding. We may dodge a bullet here!

  4. So glad to hear you and your family are safe. It touches my heart to see so many volunteers helping rescue strangers. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your neighbors. Stay safe and dry.

  5. I’m looking for you on TV. I have a feeling you had to evacuate today. If not, I bet you’re somehow giving a helping hand. From what I have seen–and from what I know of you–Houstonians are resilient with BIG HEARTS. (Must be something in the water. Yuk, yuk, yuk)

    Your fans on this site know what we can do to help those displaced by Harvey. But let us know what you and your family need. We’ll figure out a way to get it to you. XOXO

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