Officials Worry About Staying Power in Gustav Tales

Those who partied in New Orleans could influence evacuees to remain next time
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 4, 2008 3:21 PM CDT
Members of an Ohio National Guard unit prepare to leave for the Hurricane Gustav recovery in Louisiana today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As the thousands who rode out Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans boast about the hardy, and sometimes boozy, camaraderie to neighbors who paid in frustration for following evacuation orders, authorities are hoping those tales won’t keep residents from heeding warnings next time around, the Christian Science Monitor reports. “Some of those people will definitely say, ‘I'm not going to make that mistake again of leaving,’” one official said.

Officials managed to get 2 million people out in the nation’s largest evacuation, and while research shows that the holdouts are unlikely to be influenced, the government is funding projects to understand how oral histories influence future decisions. “They're worried we create the impression to those returning to the city that these storms are harmless,” says one resident who stayed behind.