General Question

rockfan's avatar

How do I persuade my relatives to seek shelter from Hurricane Irma?

Asked by rockfan (6642points) 1 week ago from iPhone

My grandmother, aunt, uncle, step-uncle and cousin are bunkered in their house in Miami, 4 blocks away from the ocean. My mom and dad have pleaded with them numerous times to leave, but they’re all extremely stubborn. We’ve told them every fact about Irma, and that they’ll most likely get 10 feet of water into their house from the storm surge, and there’s a chance they good get swept away. Yet they seem not to care. My cousin is extremely intelligent so I’m shocked that he hasn’t persuaded them to at least seek a shelter that’s futher away from the coast. I haven’t contacted any of them personally. Is there even any reason to still persuade them to leave? Or should I just let it be and hope for the best?

Sorry this question is more of an outlet of my frustration.

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41 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

You might call the authorities and have them forceably remove them.

Jeruba's avatar

I would leave them to decide for themselves. There’s nothing you can tell them that they don’t already know, and they may not care to have to justify their decision. I can imagine circumstances under which I’d do the same thing myself. In their place, I would be ready to accept the consequences of my choice and would deeply resent someone’s forcing me to do otherwise.

Tell them you love them, you care what happens to them, and you want to hear from them often. But don’t leave angry words in their ears. That’s something you may regret.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Have you offered to pay part of the cost to leave? It might make the difference for them to know you care enough to go to that extent.
I should think any help you could offer them would have the potential to change their minds.

rockfan's avatar

I’m not sure if my parents have offered to pay the cost to leave, but we offered them to stay at our house for as long as they need.

zenvelo's avatar

Ask them if their wills are prepared and their finances in order to be sorted out by the family after the flooding.

I don’t mean to be facetious, but perhaps it will let them know they are going to become a statistic.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Show them video of the destruction that they will have to face.

chyna's avatar

@Jeruba has fantastic advice. So sorry they are making you worry, but at this point, it’s too late for them to leave.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I should think that if you were genuinely concerned, you would take a proactive part in getting them convinced to take action. If you don’t do something concrete, they are not likely to feel much urgency either.
You need to show them you feel urgency by doing something to get things rolling.
Would renting a U haul help? Are there any available now?
Plane tickets?
Pet care?
What needs are there, and what can you ACTIVELY do to help?
In a crises, words are dogshit. What you DO counts.

rockfan's avatar

@Patty_Melt

Sorry, but that’s a crock of shit. I live 14 hours away from them and we’ve begged them to leave. If we payed and sent a u-haul truck for them, what would that accomplish? That wouldn’t suddenly change their mind. If I bought them plane tickets that wouldn’t matter either, because the main reason they’re staying is because of their materialistic possessions that they care about.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The local authorities (Governor of Florida is all over the TV tell people get out) ! ! Gov. Scott urges residents in evacuation zones to leave now, not later

They have to know that it could be days before the get rescued, they’ll need water and food for that time.

There are shelters in Miami-Dade; for residents, they don’t have to go the Canada

CWOTUS's avatar

Well… four blocks from the shore? I would assume that they probably live in a high-rise, then? And maybe they’re on an upper floor? In that case, highly un -likely to be swept away in any kind of flood short of biblical. But they may very well be without power (and therefore without A/C or refrigeration), without city services, and very likely without fresh water after the storm passes and for who knows how long afterward.

If those facts don’t get to them, then save your breath.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Patty_Melt Your suggestions to @rockfan would have been fine four days ago.

The flights going into Florida are being cancelled left & right and available seats out are limited.

U-hauls have to be trailered behind a vehicle and there are major traffic tie-ups, gasoline is in short supply.

Oh they are adults.

rockfan's avatar

No, they live in a single story house with no basement

Patty_Melt's avatar

I realize it is too late now, but now is when the question got asked.
I answered on the belief this might not be the very last hurricane, and future situations might work better for someone.
I agree what I said should have been done tuesday, but the question wasn’t here then.

I have rented several U hauls, and never one trailered behind anything. They have trucks, lots of them, in varied sizes.

rockfan's avatar

Unfortunately my relatives had been hiding the fact that they were staying, they didn’t want us to worry. They told us just two days ago.

Jeruba's avatar

My guess would be that this comes down to one person who won’t budge, and the others won’t leave her. They’ve already made a hard enough decision. Stop adding to their stress and just stand by to help if they ask for something that you can do.

I think that anyone’s saying “if you were genuinely concerned” is very harsh and does not apply. Of course you’re genuinely concerned. But it’s not up to you.

Patty_Melt's avatar

If they were secretive about it, then I guess they have their reasons.
Luck be with them.
Let us know how they rode it out.

Pachy's avatar

What @Jeruba says, all that she says, is sad but true, and I suspect it’s so for many others who for whatever reason have chosen to stay. All you can do now is hope for the the best.

seawulf575's avatar

My mom is by Tampa and she didn’t evacuate either. But when I talked to her, she actually had good reasons. She waited too long…she should have left two days ago. But by the time she thought to leave, there were hour long lines for gas, if you could find it. The traffic on the highway was bumper to bumper and moving 30 mph, if that. She could have gone to Atlanta, but she might not have enough gas and the gas stations along the highway were all running out. She figured she would rather ride out the storm in her house than in her car. Can’t really blame her. She did find out where the nearest shelter is, if she needs to evac in a hurry. So I’m just praying for her. Not too much else that can be done at this point.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Jeruba, there was no cause to attack me. Op states that, “I haven’t contacted any of them personally”.
That doesn’t leave me feeling there was a whole lot of effort, which leaves me wondering how worried is he.
I stand by what I said.
Maybe they have their reasons for wanting to stay, but if I had someone I love in the path of Irma, I would do more than wishing they would leave. I’d be busy working through the possibilities with them.
Poo poo me like I am some mean ogre.
If you don’t do, don’t boo hoo.

rockfan's avatar

“If you don’t do, don’t boo-boo,”

Such a passively annoying comment.

My relatives are full grown adults. My parents have persuaded them for two days straight, crying on the phone with them, begging them to leave. That’s why I was hesitant to contact them, they already know we want them to seek shelter. There’s a chance I’m just going to make the situation worse by making them even more stubborn. However, I talked to my cousin yesterday and they seem extremely prepared if they end up getting stranded.

I can’t physically force 5 people to move out of a house when I live 14 hours away.

rockfan's avatar

If you think @Jeruba “attacked you” for saying your comment was harsh, then you must be an overly sensitive person.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@rockfan Any updates on this?

rockfan's avatar

They’re still in their house. I’m at the point right now where I’m planning travel arrangements to go down to Florida for a funeral, possibly more.

chyna's avatar

{{{Hugs}}} @rockfan. I know you must be worried sick. Try to keep positive.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@rockfan So sorry. Thinking of you.

rockfan's avatar

Thanks :)

Jeruba's avatar

@rockfan, I have family in harm’s way in Florida too. They’ve been through a lot of storms and a lot of evacuations over the years. They’re pretty worried about this one, I know. Not for a minute do I think I know better than they do how to take care of themselves. Sitting tight and waiting for word from a distance is hard and scary, but the last thing they’d want is for me to fly down there, even if I could, and be one more thing for them to worry about and take care of.

So—courage while you wait, and I hope your news is good.

canidmajor's avatar

@rockfan, I gave family in harm’s way as well. They really can’t leave (my nephew is a First Responder, his wife is in month 9 of a high risk pregnancy, and my sister is an OB nurse who will stay for the young family’s sake) and they are right in the track now. It’s hard to feel so helpless when we’re far away. I hope your relatives come out the other side OK, and I wish for all our jellies and loved ones to weather this unharmed.
Please let us know.

canidmajor's avatar

I “have” family…fat fingers, sorry

Dutchess_III's avatar

So how is everyone @canidmajor? Is the worst over or just beginning?

canidmajor's avatar

Thanks for asking, @Dutchess_III. It’s just starting to get nasty for them, it’s a while before they’re out the other side. I don’t expect to hear anything from now until tomorrow. The last I saw on FB, everyone was on their way to where they needed to be, my nephew to the firehouse, his wife to the hospital, I think the toddler will go with the dogs to be with the aunt who is off to some higher ground.
Keeping fingers crossed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think it’s a good idea to put the dogs in charge of the toddler. Studies have shown that dogs don’t give toddlers the nutrients they need to grow big and healthy. ~

canidmajor's avatar

But it’s a high nutrition toddler! The dogs will not go hungry! ;-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Whew! Glad to hear that!

rockfan's avatar

My uncle just called and they’re all ok, their house didn’t even get flooded. Irma went more west than predicted. He actually had a “I told you so” tone to his voice.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, he’s a damn fool. He just got lucky.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@rockfan Glad to hear it! But yes, he got lucky. I hope they won’t be so cocky in the future. Pure arrogance and luck.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They were talking days, weeks and months for people to get their power back on, in portions of Florida.

Glad they made it through this part of the Irma.

Jeruba's avatar

@rockfan, I added your folks to my worry list over the weekend, so I’m relieved to know they’re okay. Thanks for letting us know.

Deciding to stay might have been the hardest thing they ever did, and they may have all expected to pay for their loyalty with everything they owned or even their lives. I’m glad they didn’t.

The test question will be what they do when the next one comes.

My husband has a chronic illness and would be frankly unable to evacuate. If we were in the path of something like that, I would stick by him no matter what. And I guess I’d just have to accept being called an arrogant fool by people who felt qualified to judge.

canidmajor's avatar

What @Jeruba says. We can never really know the motives of those who choose to shelter in place. Even if they say they don’t want to leave their stuff, it may be that they don’t want to admit that the anxiety factor for them is crippling, or that they have physical issues that others don’t know about that make evacuation too difficult.

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