Last weekend, Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean and up the coast of Florida, devastating the Sunshine State and displacing millions. It spent three days as a Category 5 hurricane and prompted the largest evacuation in the history of the Bahamas. 6.3 million people were also ordered to evacuate the state of Florida, although as you will see on this list, not all of them listened. Called “remainders” by some, these are the people who decided to weather the storm on their own, without the help of shelters and sometimes, without the help of any walls at all. In fact, some people purposely sought out the storm and even went about their normal routine in the ocean as if nothing was happening at all.
But to most, Irma was devastating. It caused a power outage to 7.7 million people, and even now, days later, 1.3 million people across Florida are without power. 15-foot storm surges caused by winds up to 185 miles per hour blew up from the Caribbean (it only got up to 135 miles per hour once it hit the U.S.). The 400-mile-wide storm caused 49 fatalities in total thus far, which is exactly why the following 18 idiots should’ve erred on the side of caution. When it comes to your life, you don’t mess around if officials are evacuating an entire state. Well, unless you’re one of the morons on this list, that is.
In the end, some people play by the rules and play it safe. Some fled the state, some holed up in shelters, and some… did these things. Natural selection, people. That’s all I have to say. To see what I mean and get a good laugh, read on and meet 18 people who just DGAF about Irma, one of the strongest hurricanes on record.
18. Mom and Kids Dancing on the Beach During Storm
While most people heeded the warnings of officials and ran in the opposite direction of the storm, this mom and her kids decided to just chill on the beach instead. Why not? Clearly, they are having a grand old time while the giant waves crash up behind them. And according to the sign near them, they were in one of the most dangerous places they possibly could be: the Southernmost point of the continental United States, in the direct path of the deadly hurricane. This buoy is located in Key West, Florida, where Hurricane Irma first hit land in the U.S. I don’t know exactly what’s going on in this photo, but there were several other similar ones snapped of the group, seeming to not have a care in the world when they should’ve been worried for their lives. Others were also photographed taking selfies and being quite foolish with the waves behind them. The things people will do for a cool social media post!
17. This Idiot’s Plan to Tie Himself to a Post During Irma
This Floridian idiot made the news with his crazy Irma antics, which included his plan to tie himself to a post to ride out Hurricane Irma. This Miami genius told news outlets that, “I’m actually doing a stunt; it sounds crazy, but there’s meaning behind it. I’m tying myself to a post down on Meridian for the duration of the hurricane. It’s all planned out with safety precautions and everything.” I’m hoping these “safety precautions” didn’t include those little pink floaties on his arms there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. There was no word on the “meaning” of this endeavor (except that it means he’s an idiot), nor of the outcome of it. Hopefully, the daredevil made it through the storm ok if he decided to actually go through with his brilliant “plan.”
16. The Suicidal Kitesurfer
One adrenaline junkie took advantage of the storm and decided to turn it into a stunt. Ignoring the fact that Hurricane Irma generated 135 mph winds, he went out on the water anyway and got slammed for it on social media. He was featured on the news, and people everywhere called him a fool and pointed out the fact that while six million people had been ordered to evacuate, he decided to take on the ocean. MSNBC journalist Marco Atencio said that the surfer was in clear breach of a mandatory evacuation order and that, “this is not the scene that officials or first responders want to be looking at.” Footage of the surfer showed him being battered by the waves, dragged around the shoreline, and even thrown under the water. It is a pretty selfish thing to do when so many people will already need the help of rescuers, and even if they didn’t, to potentially put rescuers in harm’s way when he could’ve just stayed inside was just silly. One teen named Zander Venezia even died riding the waves in Barbados during Irma, so this guy should thank his lucky stars he didn’t meet the same fate.
15. 54,000 Floridians Told Not to Shoot Hurricane Irma
First, let me start by saying what everyone is thinking: it’s pretty freaking sad that anyone (let alone 54,000 people!) have to be told not to shoot a hurricane. First of all, there’s no way that would work. There was a Facebook event titled “Shoot At Hurricane Irma,” but the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department tried to get the message out there to not shoot at it. They tweeted, “You won’t make it turn around, and it will have very dangerous side effects. Bullets fired into a storm system like a hurricane can have unpredictable and potentially dangerous trajectories.” Ryan Edwards, one of the Facebook event’s creators, said it started out as a joke out of stress and boredom, but people took it seriously. Edwards told Time,”I am amazed that anyone could see it as anything else than a joke.” But so many people were into the idea that the sheriff’s department actually felt the need to ensure that people did not, in fact, shoot at Hurricane Irma.
14. Even First Responders Can’t Go Out, But This Place Is Open For Business
On one hand, even during a hurricane, it would be nice to know that there’s something open should you need anything. On the other hand, when officials are saying that not even first responders will be allowed on the streets until after the hurricane passes (meaning no 911 calls will be responded to, no emergencies will be responded to, nothing), it’s not necessary to keep a business open. First of all, if anyone did show up to buy anything, there was probably nothing left, at least nothing they would risk their lives to get, like water. Therefore, there would probably be no customers, anyway, and if there were, they wouldn’t be enough to make staying open worth it. There were reports of a few restaurants in places like Jacksonville that stayed open (and actually had a lot of business), but that’s in the North, and the situation wasn’t as precarious as it was down South.
13. Two People Tried to Ride Out Irma- On a Boat!
You may have thought that the surfer and the guy tying himself to a pole defined “stupid,” but these people have one up on those guys. This photo shows cops rescuing people who tried to ride out Hurricane Irma in the absolute dumbest place you could think of — on a boat. That’s right, someone actually decided to attempt that, and only God knows why. Cops from the Martin County Sheriff’s Marine and Strike teams were forced to go on a risky mission to save two people whom, let’s be honest, we maybe should’ve let natural selection take care of. The man and the woman whose intelligence is in question had made the decision to weather the storm in their anchored boat off Jensen Beach, which is North of Palm Beach. The Sheriff’s office wrote on Twitter, “MCSO Marine Rescue complete. Everyone is safe. Good job, everyone.”
12. Expectant Parents Feel No Need to Evacuate
This is no ordinary photo of two lovebirds on a babymoon in Florida. This is a photo of parents-to-be, Gaetan and Carole Mondet in their sixth-floor apartment, where they decided to stay and ride out the storm and organized a game of Monopoly for neighbors who were also staying put. It’s shocking to me that anyone — much less an expectant mother that far along in her pregnancy — would choose to stay six floors above the earth during a hurricane when they could either evacuate altogether or, at the very least, seek safety in a shelter somewhere. At least there, they could receive medical attention much easier and faster than if anything were to happen in their apartment. 30-year-old Gaetan Mondet, a sales director from Bourg-Saint-Maurice in the French Alps, said, “This building is like a bunker. It’s been here for more than 50 years and survived several major hurricanes. I wouldn’t entrust the safety of my wife and unborn child to some flimsy inland motel.” Whatever you say, Gaetan.
11. “Praying Irma Away”
There’s something to be said about the power of prayer, and some people even refuse life-saving medical care for themselves and their children for religious reasons. The people in this photo have convictions just as strong, and may very well have been risking their lives to “pray” Hurricane Irma away, versus evacuating to a safer location. This group of worshippers (you can even see the “Jesus” on the back of one guy’s shirt) gathered on this beach in Jacksonville, Florida to see what they could work out with the big guy upstairs regarding Irma. Dozens prayed together at the Jacksonville Beach Pier, and organizer Mary Parker said, “As Christians, we are told in scripture that we can speak storms to quiet down like Jesus did.” There were hymns, Bible passages, and plans of more group prayers to come.
10. Must Get Photos For Social Media
The people in this photo are total risk-takers. Taken in Tampa Bay, this photo shows that some people not only chose to ignore the warnings to evacuate but also decided to go to the very spot that Hurricane Irma was set to make its second landfall in Florida. Early reports as Irma hit Key West on Sunday morning said that it was likely that the storm would stay off the West coast of Florida until it reached Tampa. At this point, the hurricane would’ve maintained its strength having been over the water and not land, meaning that it would still be a Category 4 storm when it reached the place these people are all meandering about without a care in the world (the storm’s strength ended up lessening by the time it reached Tampa, but these people didn’t know that!). About 100 people were spotted walking here on Old Tampa Bay, where the water had drained before Irma hit. Normally these waters would be four or five feet high and reach a sea wall, but the hurricane had pushed the water out when this photo was taken. Officials warned people that the water would be back “with a vengeance,” but these people seemingly didn’t care.
9. Don’t Worry, Just Party
Some people made the poor decision to not evacuate or take cover but to party instead. This choice may sound appealing for obvious reasons, but it was probably not the smartest thing to do during a Category 4 hurricane the likes of which has never been seen in the area. This bartender and her patrons were living it up in a bar in Florida, and not only were they drinking their troubles away; they look like they were actually celebrating, too! The bartender seems to be making light of the situation by wearing Minion floaties, goggles around her neck, and a lifeguard tank top. I’m sure this is not her usual getup for work, so it’s safe to assume it’s her Hurricane Irma party outfit. Hey, someone has to stay behind and tend bar. Whatever would the drunks do without her?
8. Dad Takes Child Outside During Second Landfall
This dad didn’t feel the need to heed the warnings of officials and whisk his daughter North to safety. Clearly, the two have headed outdoors just as the storm was getting fierce, judging by the palm trees in the background and the young girl’s wet hair blowing out behind her. This photo was taken during Irma’s second landfall near Marco Island, Florida. The eye of the storm passed over the West coast of Florida Sunday afternoon, and although it had turned into a Category 2 storm by that point, it still doesn’t look like conditions I would want my child to be in — especially outside. What was this dad thinking? Forecasters had told residents of the area that the water levels could “rapidly rise in a matter of minutes,” and that that could create life-threatening conditions. In this case, it’s one thing to decide not to evacuate and remain indoors or in a shelter, but it’s completely another to purposely take your child out for a stroll during a massive hurricane. I hope it was worth it.
7. Literally Riding Out the Storm
As winds gusted up to 100 miles per hour in Miami on Sunday, these bikers in the photo on the left kept right on riding. Talk about riding out the storm! But why anyone would want to be outside or on anything as frail as a bicycle during Hurricane Irma is beyond me, but to each their own, I suppose. I would think that biking in the middle of such a big storm is one of the worst things you could possibly do in terms of safety, but actually, there were plenty of photos to be found of people biking all over the state of Florida. The photo on the right is another example. This picture was snapped in Key West, which, as we know, was the first place hit in the United States. This biker on Eaton Street seems unconcerned, however, that Key West is being battered by rain, winds, and water. At least he’s wearing bright yellow so as not to get hit by a car (not that any cars would be out driving), but if I were him, I’d be more worried about those palm trees that look like they’re about to be toppled over on top of him.
6. Florida Grocery Chain Has Questionable “Taste”
Twitter was unsure how to react to the grocery chain Publix making Hurricane Irma cakes. Many felt that they weren’t taking the storm seriously and were making light of it when there were so many other things to prioritize. They said it was in bad taste given the severity of Irma. But others thought it was great and tweeted things like “My family is prepping for Irma and sent me this pic of a cake @Publix. This, my friends, is what makes South FL great.” The sensitivity of baking hurricane-themed cakes at this chain of grocery stores is questionable, but at least they did a good job with it! Hey, if you can’t buy water because there’s none left on the shelves, the next best thing has to be cake.
5. Storm-Chaser and Thrill-Seeker
These two have some balls. And actually, it’s quite impressive that in very obviously high winds such as this, neither of them had blown over at that point. The man in the top photo is a storm chaser (yes, he seeks out this kind of thing on purpose), and he ended up getting blown down the street trying to “measure” Irma. Justin Drake was attempting to calculate the exact speed of the winds that exceeded 100 miles per hour (they recorded them at 117 miles per hour but said the wind may have been too strong for their equipment to read). Extreme weather journalist Simon Brewer shot the video of his friend, and by this time, the hurricane had already taken three lives in Florida and 23 in the Caribbean. The men were called everything from “brave” to “irresponsible and stupid.” As for the guy on the bottom? Well, he’s just dumb.
4. Animal Lover?
As pet owners, people are supposed to treat their animals as family members and protect them. This man looks like he loves his dogs, but he should’ve evacuated with them. Since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston a few weeks ago, much has been made in the news about protecting one’s pets when a natural disaster strikes. So many poor, helpless animals were left alone and died from Harvey that you would think people would be more careful. This man clearly has no ill intentions, but what if he got caught in the storm or in his home and the dogs were left alone? He’s being pretty damn careless by running around and playing with his dogs on the beach during a hurricane. This photo was taken in the drained bed of Hillsborough Bay before the storm officially hit. But this man, Tampa local Tim Scheu, wouldn’t have had enough time to evacuate the area if things got bad enough, and his dogs, Stella and Mister, could’ve ended up paying the price. People don’t realize that even if something looks safe at the moment, it can turn dangerous again within mere seconds.
3. Natural Selection At Its Finest
I hope this guy doesn’t actually expect to be taken seriously. First, there’s the obvious: that he’s standing in the street wearing goggles, a snorkel, flippers, and no shirt. Second, he’s failed to evacuate South Florida even though it was mandatory, meaning he ignored warnings by officials and experts (who generally know what they’re talking about) to wait out Hurricane Irma… in a store front. Standing in the middle of Miami’s Duval Street half naked, he told the Miami Herald that he planned to ride out the storm in a store front. The Miami Herald’s David Orvalle took the photo and tweeted, “I really hope this gentleman isn’t serious when he says he’s going to ride out Hurricane Irma in a storefront on Duval Street.” And of course, people on Twitter had plenty to say about that, including, “Natural selection at its finest.”
2. Nontraditional Approaches
Various non-traditional ways of getting Hurricane Irma to go away popped up as events on Facebook before the hurricane hit, yet somehow, none of them actually worked. There was “Goth Dancing to Blow Hurricane Irma Away,” “Everyone Vape Towards Hurricane Irma,” and “Everybody Points Their Fans at the Hurricane to Blow It Away.” People certainly are creative — I’ll give them that. But I have to wonder how many of these participants actually had faith in what they were attempting to do? They’re not that smart in the first place for failing to evacuate the state, so that’s our first clue that these people might actually believe what they’re preaching. These online hurricane “parties” were definitely a way to pass the time and have a few laughs, but they could’ve also been dangerous. For example, 3,000 people said they wanted to attend the goth dancing event on the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier last Friday, with another 11,000 interested. You know at least some of those people have to be kooks who really planned to go. Even though the event creators tried to spread the message that this was just a joke and not to actually show up, you never know these days.
1. This Guy Will Likely Be Irma’s Second Fishing Victim
I know some fishermen take their work very seriously, but this guy is just plain nuts! The danger here is insane – there’s the wind, the water level, the waves that could easily pull him under, etc. And there’s also the fact that no way in hell is he going to catch anything with the water being that choppy. So how is it worth the risk? Even if he got the greatest catch of his life, it isn’t worth risking his life (or the lives of others, like the rescuers who would undoubtedly have had to come and get his dumb ass). Before the storm even hit Florida, a kayaker who went fishing in the St. John’s River in Jacksonville went missing. His body was later found in the river. So, the man in the above picture is taking a huge and unnecessary risk, because 22-year-old Joel Digiacomo, the kayaker, was only in a river and he didn’t make it; this guy is in the ocean and is in way over his head.
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