When there was a hurricane, you would listen to the radio and get the coordinates of the storm, and track it on your paper bag chart. That's as fancy and technological as it got, no big satellite pictures on the news like this one of Ike:
So, were we less worried about what was coming because we only had our own little sketches to look at? Since I was a kid, and not really cognizant of life and property loss issues, I can't make a fair comparison. But hurricanes have always paralyzed me, and now that you can watch "all hurricane coverage, all the time," I have a strong tendency to obsess over them. Whether they are coming near me or not.
They are usually not coming near me...since I live 250 miles north of the coastal area now. But we are expecting tropical storm force winds up this way tomorrow, and my goodness, do we have a lot of things in the yard that we need to put away!
And I have never heard anything like this statement from the National Weather Service:
This is from the Galveston Island portion of the statement:
LIFE THREATENING INUNDATION LIKELY!
ALL NEIGHBORHOODS...AND POSSIBLY ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES...
WILL BE INUNDATED DURING THE PERIOD OF PEAK STORM TIDE. PERSONS
NOT HEEDING EVACUATION ORDERS IN SINGLE FAMILY ONE OR TWO STORY
HOMES MAY FACE CERTAIN DEATH. MANY RESIDENCES OF AVERAGE
CONSTRUCTION DIRECTLY ON THE COAST WILL BE DESTROYED. WIDESPREAD
AND DEVASTATING PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE IS LIKELY ELSEWHERE.
VEHICLES LEFT BEHIND WILL LIKELY BE SWEPT AWAY. NUMEROUS ROADS
WILL BE SWAMPED...SOME MAY BE WASHED AWAY BY THE WATER. ENTIRE
FLOOD PRONE COASTAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE CUTOFF. WATER LEVELS MAY
EXCEED 9 FEET FOR MORE THAN A MILE INLAND. COASTAL RESIDENTS IN
MULTI-STORY FACILITIES RISK BEING CUTOFF. CONDITIONS WILL BE
WORSENED BY BATTERING WAVES CLOSER TO THE COAST. SUCH WAVES WILL
EXACERBATE PROPERTY DAMAGE...WITH MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF
HOMES...INCLUDING THOSE OF BLOCK CONSTRUCTION. DAMAGE FROM BEACH
EROSION COULD TAKE YEARS TO REPAIR.