The Epidemic of Hurricane Amnesia

By: Nate Harrington Email
By: Nate Harrington Email

The 2011 Hurricane season has come and gone with only one storm, Hurricane Irene, making landfall in the U.S.

It was a busy year statistically, with 19 named storms.

But when I asked people walking around downtown Tallahassee to name one of those, they had some trouble.

Tallahassee resident, Maximilian Cook says, "No, I can't.
None were a threat to me, so why do I care."

FSU Student Courtney Lang says, "I couldn't... I honestly couldn't."

Tallahassee resident Jeff Johnson says, "I remember one that was going up the coastline, toward DC and New York City.
It was in September maybe... August, September."

They weren't the only ones who couldn't remember.

Of the 10 people I asked, only one could come up with Tropical Storm Sean, the last named storm of the season.

It's a condition known as Hurricane Amnesia.

Todd Lericos from the NWS in Tallahassee says, "Unless the hurricane gets into the Gulf of Mexico and is recent, and recent meaning a couple of weeks, it tends to go out of the minds of the general public.

And people on the street say the amnesia will continue until something is a real threat.

Courtney Lang says, "But it's going to take something coming straight toward us for people to really really pay attention to it."

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  • by Anonymous on Dec 9, 2011 at 12:57 PM
    I feel dumber just from reading the article.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2011 at 04:46 AM
    move along folks......nothing to see here
  • by FSU4LIFE on Dec 2, 2011 at 01:52 PM
    Why do people need to remember names of past hurricanes that didn't even hit the US? People have so many other things to remember...let the meterologists fill their memory banks with storms that never impacted the US. The real problem is when people are told to prepare/evacuate because a storm IS going to hit and they don't.
  • by TJ on Dec 2, 2011 at 08:37 AM
    That's because every year the media gets stories from the doom-and-gloomers about how this will be the worst year EVER! They predict 15 storms will make landfall! They use 50 year cycles to make predictions but they've only been tracking storms for 150 years, so your 1:3 data pool will be wildly unreliable. Make sensible reminders to people instead of the chicken little PSAs so hopefully the people will not over-react or under-react to the potential dangers.
  • by Winning on Dec 1, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    I guess we're supposed to walk around in sackcloth and ashes moaning about the fact we live where a storm may one day strike... slow news day I guess
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2011 at 09:14 AM in reply to Winning
      My thoughts exactly
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2011 at 10:22 AM in reply to Winning
      What the article really means is that the further away from a past storm, the less likely people are to listen to emergemcy officials when the time to evecuate. I agree that the timing of this is funny. Why not put this out on the first day of hurricane season rather then after it's over.
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