It's tempting to simply ignore the government as often as possible. After all, the three main modes of government communication are 1) self-congratulatory propaganda 2) desperate attempts to explain scandal and/or general incompetence, and lastly, 3) actual useful information.
That said, when it comes to natural disasters, it's type three that we're dealing with.
Right now, the Fraser River is creeping up towards record-breaking levels, with more water expected this weekend. If the forecasts are correct, we'll see higher river levels than in any year since 1972. Some roads in low-lying areas of the Lower Mainland have been closed, and numerous people up and down the Fraser have been evacuated, or told they may have to leave at short notice.
This is when you listen to your government: when they're telling you they think lives might be in danger.
We've heard of people driving through flooded roads, or trying to edge around barricades with "road closed" signs on them. We've seen repeated warnings about staying off the dikes and away from trails that are now flooded. And we've seen warnings that riverbanks may be unstable thanks to the floods.
There has already been one death due to the flood this year in B.C., and we'd prefer not to see another. Just as we'd like to see no more deaths from people who ignore signs and ski out of bounds, who head off the marked trails in the mountains and parks and get lost, or those who won't leave their homes when forest fires draw near.
Nature is awesome, in every sense of the word. It is inspiring, beautiful, and a source of wonder. It is also dangerous, powerful, and far beyond our ability to control. At best, we can predict when something is about to go wrong and try to get out of its way. So please, heed the advice and stay away from areas that are deemed off-limits and, if evacuation orders are issued, follow the instructions. If you're safe now, don't put yourself in danger needlessly.