I am not expressing a wish that Irma will slam into Florida and destroy the state, but if damage is mild, if Miami is spared and Tampa isn't inundated, the chances of ever convincing 6 million residents to flee from a storm will revert to just about nil, and one day, that will cost a lot of lives.
Everyone from the Governor, to NOAA to, of course, the press, has proclaimed Irma the ultimate death storm, and certainly I'd have pulled up stakes and vamoosed some days ago if I'd been in, say, the Keys, but if millions of residents spend thousands of dollars apiece and days away from home and business, for naught, how will anyone ever convince them to do it again?
There will certainly, one day, come a storm of such a size and power that it will obliterate everything that's been built on barrier islands like Miami or North Carolina's Outer Banks: for credibility's sake, this had better be that storm.
UPDATE: Over at EOS's site, our friend Mike Finkbeiner (aka "Earthimage" has some great observations and specific knowledge about this hurricane; specific knowledge, unlike the ignorant hysteria being peddled by the press. Look for them in the comments section.
Mike's Greenwich firm, by the way, is the go-to place for surveys, elevation certificates and all that sort of land use stuff. Good people.