Having lived in Florida for almost 10 years of my life, then California to the present, I must thank you for saying what comes to mind every time I hear about the next Hurricane hitting the Gulf.
I think there is a line, although fine, between deserving something and asking for it. In this case I believe it is less of they deserve it, as much as they are simply asking for it to happen to them by choosing to live in such a disaster prone area. This, however, does not apply to those that do not have the money to simply pick up their things and move.
So do we force them out? This is the United States, so for better or worse I don't think the government has the power to do that. Using money to goad people out of the area or pay for the costs of moving will be an economic venture comparable, if not far more than the 700 billion dollar bail out we just made to save our current broken system.
Will the cost outweigh the benefits? Probably not. Doesn't mean that its impossible. Hell, we just outweighed the benefits heavily with offshore drilling, so its not impossible to convince people otherwise. But actually getting it to happen...
Personally, I'd like to see it happen. That is, however, speaking from the other side of the country and having a questionable knowledge of how those beach cities contribute to the American economy on a yearly basis compared to how much the Hurricanes destroy.
The jobs put out would be crushing. The housing market is the south east would plummet, if not die. People would be displaced, having to deal with housing pricing and laws from other states. It would not be easy, and would most likely do far more damage to the economy than letting them stay.
On paper and as a concept it sounds like a great idea. Hurricanes trying to eat this plot of land? Get the people out and the Hurricanes can go on their merry way and eat that plot of land. But in practice, I think it would be devastating.
In the long run? Who knows. In the short term, bad. In the long term, its kind of a coin flip isn't it?
Here in Cali, Earth Quakes are a non-issue. It is regulation around here, especially in cities, to reinforce buildings above a certain height to be earthquake resistant. Even though another one will happen, considering the entire state is basically the San Andreas fault line, but they are unlikely to do the damage of a wildfire, and even those burn mostly on long stretches of empty brush.