Red warning flags fly from a lifeguard station on Miami Beach. Lynne Sladky, AP
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The emergency management chief for the United States is warning that Floridians are in "denial" about the threat posed by hurricanes.
Craig Fugate is the administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He said many Floridians wrongly believe they have survived the full force of hurricanes.
Fugate was Florida's emergency chief during the 2004 and 2005 storms. He was visiting his old offices Wednesday.
Fugate said there "tends to be a bit of arrogance" among Floridians about storms. He said in reality that hurricane force winds and storm surge were only experienced in small compact areas such as the beach areas near Pensacola during Hurricane Ivan.
Fugate said that's why Floridians should take evacuation orders seriously. He said that too many people wrongly assume that a Category 1 storm isn't serious.