Originally Posted by Slyder
Is it better to be overly cautious or not cautious enough and a bunch of people stayed put and Irene became that Cat 4 the computers predicted, with a larger death toll because people didn't get out of the way?
The problem is that there's a fine line between being overly-cautious and sensationalism. The coverage of Irene was more of the latter than the former.
While being cautious is undoubtedly a good thing, crossing this fine line can impede future warning efforts. It's like the parable of the boy who cried wolf. If a hurricane is overhyped too much, then people see how much it doesn't live up to its hype, the real one might come along one day and people won't listen to the warnings because of all the others that were sensationalized.