May 09, 2005

Mathematical Illiteracy Comes In Many Forms

Remember, in any population of sufficient size, half the population are, by definition, below average:

Many residents along the East and Gulf coasts don't plan to take simple steps to protect themselves and their homes from hurricanes, despite the devastation caused by five hurricanes that struck the United States last year, according to a poll released Monday. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they felt "not too" or "not at all" vulnerable, according to a Mason-Dixon poll. And one in four would do nothing to prepare for a storm, even after a watch or warning was issued... The poll also found that one in four residents believed they could evacuate flood-prone areas 30 minutes to an hour before a hurricane made landfall... Overall, the hurricanes and tropical storms killed 117 people in Florida and more than 3,000 in Haiti. The storms damaged or destroyed one in five Florida homes, along with 90% of those on the Caribbean island nation of Grenada. Property losses were estimated at $42 billion. Yet 47% of those surveyed had no disaster plan for the hurricane season that begins June 1 and runs through November, the poll found.

This simple fact continues to elude journalists who seem amazed by the lack of foresight shown by ..., wait for it ..., approximately half the population.

Posted by Charles Austin at May 9, 2005 10:03 PM