Faced with an unprecedented wave of hurricanes, storm-weary residents in Florida have been ordered to move out of their homes again. But there is a sense of despondency this time, with many in the Florida Keys refusing to heed evacuation orders. Others fearing for their safety have sought shelter in sports halls. “We came here because we were afraid and my mother is alone with seven children,” said one woman.
“Everyone is scared, because when you go home, you don’t know if you’ll find anything,” added another. Authorities now appear to have a more ordered emergency action plan since the chaos wreaked by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The difference was not unnoticed. “All the facilities, regardless of what I ask for, they have it here. This is my first time here. I’ll recommend this to anybody, even the grouchiest person,” said one man. With little more than a month to go before the end of the hurricane season – the busiest since records began – even the best humoured residents will be hoping this is the last time they have to hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.