Identity an impediment to adaptation?

By Corrie Knapp

Why do people wait out hurricanes?

Over the past few weeks it has become a common storyline: the resident who chooses not to evacuate despite mandatory evacuations and recent examples of the dangers of waiting it out. It fascinates us: the danger, the stubborn resistance. In each story, there is a connection to place, a lack of fear mixed with fascination, and some excuse about the challenges of evacuation.

In one story, a man leads the reporter to his window, which looks out to Biscayne Bay. The reporter admires the view, and the man responds by saying it is his home, his place, part of his identity. Next, the reporter knocks on the glass, asking about its strength. The man just remarks that it made it through one other hurricane. It will probably be fine. Identity trumps caution.

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