Sep 10, 2018

Axios PM

1 big thing: We still aren't ready

Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station today (NASA via AP)

Category 4 Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast, and there's plenty of reason to believe that individual Americans won't be prepared.

  • Florence has rapidly intensified, and could land anywhere from the Mid-Atlantic to the Carolinas by Thursday or Friday, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

The big picture: Our lack of preparedness matters now because millions of Americans are in harm's way. It matters after the storm because more people are living in disaster-prone areas and future disasters could be worse as a result of climate change, USA Today's Rick Hampson notes.

  • "[A] relatively small part of the country has sustained most of the damage from major natural disasters; about 90 percent of the losses occurred in ZIP codes with less than 20 percent of the population," per a N.Y. Times analysis.

Between the lines: Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said earlier this year that the U.S. lacks a "culture of preparedness."

  • "We mostly don’t stock up on batteries, candles and water."
  • We "don’t prepare a family emergency plan or buy a hand-cranked radio."
  • "We don’t listen carefully to warnings and often don’t understand them when we do."
  • And we ignore evacuation orders: "A survey in Florida after Hurricane Irma by Mason-Dixon polling found that only 43 percent of those under mandatory evacuation orders actually evacuated."
  • "Two-thirds of Americans said [in 2015] they were not prepared to evacuate in an emergency."

The other side: Cost and ignorance also play a role. Preparing for evacuations that might happen is expensive, as is the time required to learn how to prepare for these issues.

The bottom line: "'I don’t know what it’ll take" for people to embrace preparedness, retired geographer Jay Baker told USA Today, "but disaster scenes are not enough."

Go deeper: Hurricane Florence coverage here

2. What you missed
  1. National security adviser John Bolton blasted the International Criminal Court as "antithetical to our nation's values." Go deeper.
  2. Two tech giants saw major personnel moves as Snap lost its chief strategy officer and Uber hired its first chief marketing officer. Snap details. Uber details.
  3. Volvo's parent company is delaying its IPO over fears of a global trade war. Go deeper.
  4. The State Department announced its plans to close the Palestine Liberation Organization's D.C. office. Go deeper.
  5. More than 30,000 Syrians were displaced by attacks in Idlib province. Go deeper.
3. 1 food thing

The ubiquitous "$5 footlong," back on Subway menus for just a year, is already on its way back out the door.

  • "Trevor Haynes, current CEO of the Milford, Connecticut, company, told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview that starting this month, each franchisee will be allowed to decide whether to sell the sub that is so famous."
  • Franchisees were displeased by the margins from the $5 footlong's return, and the company is trying out paninis in California. It launched wraps this spring.