Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Why Warnings Are Not Heeded

For the past eight years, Kim McClain, has been a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. She has traveled to hard-hit cities and towns to understand why people got killed in storms that she says "really should be survivable as long as people can get to the right shelter."

In an interview with NPR, McClain was asked to explain why people failed to heed weather warnings:

We give people days of alert that their general region may be threatened. But people are really savvy about this. They know that even if a region in general is at risk, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be a tornado that hits their house. So people wait until things get quite close until they make those calls. For tornadoes, they typically wait until they're under a warning and then there are just a couple of minutes. Then all they can really do is shelter in place.

People are doing what we call "confirming the threat." And they do this … on a continuous basis. They'll be watching, and maybe they'll go get their children. But they won't necessarily take shelter until things get a little bit closer.

Possible Preaching Angles: Human nature remains the same throughout history. Warnings were also given to the people of Noah’s time (Matthew 24:38-39), the people in Sodom (Genesis 19:14), and those who heard the message of Peter (Acts 2:40). Sadly, most ignored those warnings until it was too late.

Rebecca Ellis, “What Makes People Heed A Weather Warning - Or Not?” NPR (3-2-19)

Related Sermon Illustrations

Tiny Bird Senses Severe Storm Coming and Flees

Science Daily reported on the ability of certain birds to sense storms coming and to protect themselves:

In East Tennessee there's a bird known as the Golden Winged Warbler. These ...

[Read More]

The Good Fear After an Awesome Storm

Suppose you were exploring an unknown glacier in the north of Greenland in the dead of winter. Just as you reach a sheer cliff with a spectacular view of miles and miles of jagged ...

[Read More]