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Are you taking a vacation this year? Almost a third of our readers responding to a recent poll at our website said they weren’t. If you are, good luck with that surfside fun, what with the combination of beached oil balls from the BP spill and hurricane season. This year, Weather Services International expects 20 named storms during the season, which ends in November.

Being from the Midwest where this isn’t an issue, I find the concept of trying to “ride out” a hurricane unthinkable, but apparently it’s pretty common. According to a presentation for the National Evacuation Conference, approximately 350,000 people did not evacuate the area before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. A recent study by Foremost Insurance states that people do this for a variety of reasons–from denial to thinking their structures are strong enough to withstand the impact, to being unable to evacuate because of age or ill health.

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