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Get out! It's a hurricane! Sorry, but gas is too pricey.
Floridians and North Carolinians top stupid-is-as-stupid-does evacuation survey.
(A native of England, Matthew Diebel is a veteran journalist who has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations. Having spent his childhood next to one of the world's fastest bodies of water, he is particularly interested in tidal energy.)
With the average U.S. gas price nationwide fast approaching $5 a gallon — AAA reports it was $4.97 on Thursday — many drivers are, understandably, increasingly hesitant to use their cars.
But would that higher cost lead you to think about not fleeing a hurricane?
Er, no, you might think.
Of course, there is the “I’ll never leave my home” crowd who stay put during hurricane evacuation alerts. And the “False warnings too many times” folks, with one in four of the Florida residents involved in the survey said they would ignore hurricane evacuation warnings altogether.
But it also turns out that 42% of Floridians responding to a AAA survey also said that high gasoline prices and availability would make them less willing to evacuate their homes, narrowly edging North Carolinians, of whom 40% said they would hesitate.
You mean, not flee from a place where houses are falling in the ocean even without a hurricane, such as on North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras last month.
AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins had some practical advice: “Prices at the pump are likely to remain high throughout the summer,” he said. “So, if you’re worried about evacuation costs, it may be a good idea to start setting aside some money now.”
Another factor: It’s wise to get out early because gas prices tend to rise because of high demand from exiting residents and also due to hurricane damage caused to refineries and other production facilities.
That, and you might lose your precious car in the oncoming waves if you stay. And worse.