Paying it forward in emergencies

Why do we let people stay in there home in high risk areas during natural disasters.?”

These facta are taken from Yahoo news 9/16/08. “About 300 stayed in Hackberry,” says irritated Robert Swire, Cameron Parish sheriff’s deputy, who is manning a checkpoint where Highway 27 disappeared under water some 20 miles from the Gulf. “They shouldn’t have done that.”

If individuals insist on staying in their homes they should need to wear id. tags so they can be identified and before the hurricane hits they should need to kpay up front the money it would take to rescue them after the event.  This ignorant machismo that I can make it through and you all will pay my way and then take care of be is absurd.  With more not less of these crisis looming in our future we need state and nation policies with serious financial consequences -a pay it forward plan for those that knowingly put themselves in harm’s way.

While some 2.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana evacuated, more than 100,000 are estimated to have refused voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders along Ike’s 200-mile surge zone.

This has led a massive rescue and relief effort that included Coast Guard reconnaissance helicopters, dozens of airboats, and massive National Guard assets ranging from inflatable Zodiac boats to Humvees, as well as thousands of troops.

Despite storm preparations, many independent-minded residents in Louisiana’s low-lying cattle, oil, and shrimp country refused to abandon their homes, even as the massive floodwaters surged into the upper bayous.

While Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff chided residents for staying, the truth on the ground was ambiguous. Despite stern warnings, many people were simply surprised by the massive surge.

“This was much worse than Rita, water wise,” said Ken Wagner of the 256 Infantry Combat Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard. “It became very challenging for people. It also carried a lot of risk” for rescuers.

From Orange County, Texas, to Cameron County, La., the US Coast Guard, National Guard units, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service conducted over 1,000 rescues, but were turned back as often as not by residents determined to hang on as the worst floodwaters since 1913 clung to the Cajun prairie.

Setting out into a dangerous chop in a small flatboat, wildlife agent Robbie Mayo acknowledged the risks his crews faced as they motored into open water toward Hackberry. The danger of capsizing was significant, especially as hurricane-force winds still lashed what were once open fields. “There’s just so much water, and there’s three-foot waves.”

Coming off his deployment to hurricane Gustav two weeks ago, National Guard Spc. Thanh Le epitomized the peculiar blurring of rescuer and victim that has come to symbolize the Gulf’s recent spate of hurricanes.

Now the health risks to resisdents and rescuers are increasing.

“Forging flooded highways toward Hackberry, ready to take on dozens of residents, they encountered confused cows, soaked rats, and hundreds of homes and trailers completely flooded in what had become a macabre sight:

Agent Mayo encountered dozens of people who refused rescue. Generators were running, and many residents were watching TVs on the top floors, even attics, of their homes. “They told me, ‘Come back tomorrow and I might be ready to go,'” says Mayo. “I told them we might not be back, but they were undeterred.

At a staging point in Carlyss, La., along the major north-south road into coastal Cameron Parish, local farmers motored through the floods in a tractor, returning from moving cows to higher ground. Still, many cows remained standing neck deep in water, they said

Seventy-five people remained in Hackberry overnight, joining thousands of others determined to ride out the floods that clung to the Texas-Louisiana border. Attempts to get them out resumed Sunday morning, as rescuers across the region went back to work. The relief effort could last two weeks, said Legle.”

Yes not every one gets stuck on the roof of theri homes through their own stupidity, but those that do should pay  for the risk they are putting their caring rescuers in.

let’s hear your comments.

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