We talked yesterday about the horrifying coincidences surrounding the devastating tragedy on Maui. But one thing that I can’t get out of my head is the fact that, in this case, many of the decisions made by the authorities were NOT in the best interest of people trying to survive the fires. You can’t just blindly obey the authorities during a disaster if you want to live.
The thing that particularly stands out to me – the thing that could affect any of us in a wide variety of emergencies on a one-to-one level – is that there were barricades meant to prohibit people from evacuating on certain roads away from the fires. The people who bypassed the barricades survived. Many of the ones who turned around have not yet been found or have perished.
We want to think that in a life-or-death crisis, the folks in uniform waving us on or stopping us are there to legitimately help us. We generally assume they have our safety in mind and are privy to more information about the disaster than we have. We’d like to believe that if there’s a barricade, it’s for our own safety and that there’s some unknown, even worse hazard beyond it. Because of this, most of us would be prone to follow directions in such an event.