The Psychology of Anticipation

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Authorities are urging millions of people from the west of New Orleans to Florida’s panhandle to pack their bags and flee. And so thousands of New Orleanians hit the highways and joined thousands from Biloxi and Mobile and Pensacola heading to higher and safer ground.

There are many who decide to stay, and many who can’t leave. People without cars and those who say they have with no place to go. All they can do is stock up on water; check the batteries in the radio; board up the windows; and bargain — sometimes heavily — with fate. We examine how and why people decide to stay or to go when Mother Nature flexes her muscle.


Ambrose Besson, resident evacuating his home on Grand Isle, Louisiana

Louis Murillo, Deputy Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness in New Orleans

David Ramano, psychologist, and a member of APA and The Red Cross’ Disaster Response Network

Jeanne Hurlbert, associate professor of Sociology at Louisiana State University

Jay Barnes, Hurricane Historian;