Fail to flee, pay to be rescued?
Should those who ignore evacuation orders have to pay when first responders have to save them from harm?
A story on Philly.com about a couple who didn't evacuate Beach Haven, N.J., as Hurricane Sandy bore down drew plenty of ridicule from readers. "They should have to sign a 'I won't be rescued' agreement, sad putting first responders at risk," one wrote.
The majority of people ordered to evacuate as Sandy approached used common sense and fled. Others didn't and had to be rescued. Some paid with their lives.
So you have to wonder: Should those who ignore evacuation orders have to pay when first responders are forced to save them from harm?
Here are some other examples of people who stayed:
One Brigantine couple who decided not to leave "called 911 around 1 p.m. Monday when their storm door blew off and winds and rain swept through the house. But police were unable to reach them, and the couple 'went upstairs and rode it out,'" another Philly.com story said.
The Long Island Press documented the rescue of 34 people who had refused to leave.
"Suffolk County police lost an SUV in (Fire Island) flooding while rescuing 14 people west of Ocean Beach on Monday. Seventeen people were rescued Tuesday from Cherry Grove, along with 10 pets. Bellone said a family of three was rescued from an unspecified community Wednesday."
In Atlantic City, N.J., rescuers had to use lifeboats to remove stragglers from their homes before the storm made landfall.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called a decision to ignore evacuation orders "stupid." New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called it "very selfish." We agree. But not everyone sees it that way. Some think it's an expression of freedom. Dagnabit, Americans have the right to be stupid.
"As storm cleanup continues, so also does the moral debate," said Religion News Service. "The idea of evacuation as a moral duty has gained traction among some local officials, theologians and hurricane survivors. But others find the notion misguided, uncompassionate and a threat to individual liberties."
Normally the debate about paying to be rescued arises when a hiker or skier gets into a difficult spot in dangerous terrain -- particularly when the person ignored multiple warnings to stay away.
While a handful of states have laws that permit a charge for search and rescue operations, many in the field think it would discourage people from calling for help.
"We know that when people believe that they are going to receive a large bill for a SAR mission, they delay a call for help or they refuse to call for help," Howard Paul, former president of the Colorado Search and Rescue Board, told Time several years ago.
On the other hand, knowing that they could face a bill or a fine might make more people inclined to comply with an order to leave. But there will always be obstinate folks who put themselves above the safety of others.
In a forum on a similar question on WebMD, a participant who described himself as a former NYC firefighter of 25 years wrote:
"Should the city/county have to provide rescue services if you refuse to evacuate? Yes, absolutely, but if you were ordered to evacuate and refused, you should also receive a citation, a fine, and bear the cost of the rescue. A disaster like this is hard on everyone, but put yourself in the shoes of the people tasked with providing emergency services to you, even while their own family's property and safety is probably at the same risk."
I'm all for imposing a fine. What do you think?
More on MSN Money:
- 7 lessons from superstorm Sandy
- Rebuilding after Sandy? Maybe not
- Smart Spending on the go: Get our app for Android or iPhone
- Will Sandy blow down the economy?
- 6 tips to avoid post-storm repair scams
- How to spot a flood-damaged car
Paying to be rescued is by far the most selfish, immoral, self-centered, illogical, moronic, and irresponsible crock of crap I have EVER heard. I guess human life has a price on it, an extremely sad and pathetic view in my mind.
The people that you listed are very much in danger, however, there was plenty of time. If no family is nearby then call social services (or police), they will tell you how to help a family member get out. If there is no family and the person is so disabled that they do not know what to do, they are not likely to be living alone or they at the very least have someone to take them to doctor, food shopping. They are not totally alone, someone knows about them and they have the ability to contact someone. People who cannot afford transportation can ask for a ride, or start walking. They had a week to get out.
One last point, we do not want you to loose your life, we are on your side and I can tell you that we are very grateful for all you do so selflessly. To call us heartless bastards diminishes you .
We have radio commercials in Florida where a person calls 911 during a hurricane and is told that there are no first responders in evacuation areas until the storm passes. The message is to heed the warnings or risk the consequences.
First responders (the loved ones of other people) should not have to risk their own lives for people who choose to be reckless. If you want to exercise individual freedoms, do it at your own risk. No one else should have to risk their lives to save you.
Nothing like asking people who have never been through a disaster for their opinion. Having been involved in hurricane diasters and recovery my whole life, most of the people who don't evacuate have one of the following issues:
1. They are elderly people who lost their driver's license due to age or vision and who have no children or children who are out of state and can't get to their parents in time. [Yeah like lots of people who live on the east coast and have parents in retirement communities in Florida.]
2. They are elderly people who lost their driver's license due to age or vision and are on a fixed income so they cannot afford to pay - and don't even have it in their bank accounts in cash - the prices that taxi drivers charge to drive someone out of the state during an evacuation and they can't get rental cars because they don't have licenses.
3. They are people who are bedridden and housebound due to illness and who are often transported just to ordinary doctors visits by medical vans or ambulances and there are no ambulances to move them because the demand outstrips the supply during a hurricane evacuation.
4. They are people suffering with mental illness. What becomes really bad is not only do they fail to appreciate danger as a non-suffering person would, but in the weeks to months that follow with no electricity or reliable transportation or computer service to pharmicies, they run out of medicine and get worse.
5. They are homeless people who have nowhere to stay and no vehicle or way to get ou and no one even knows they are there.
6. They are children who are living with one of the above.
7. They are the elderly starting to have the onset of dementia but are undiagnosed so they don't really appreciate what is going on the way they would have in the past.
8. They are nursing home residents where the nursing home makes the decision not to move due to costs or due to the lack of available ambulances to move everyone out.
Should I go on?
THESE are the people you want to charge? Heartless bastards.
they already paid taxes for this and in New jersey they already pay too much. this is what the taxes cover. so yes they are fools but no they should not be charged
Ok, this is for the bleeding heart liberals that live off my tax money and for the so called christains.
Can any of you answer with certainty that hurricanes and other natural disasters where there has been warning given with ample time to get out of the way, that those who would stay and die, ...........isn''t God's way of population control or a way of improving the gene pool?
Supposedly we cannot determine God's will and we should not try.
As I said in earlier posts, Lemmings commit suicide, some people text and drive, drive while drunk or just die due to stupidity like being grossly obese. Sometimes it causes the deaths of innocent folks.
Should we not mess with God's will? Maybe this is why occasionally a person dies trying to save the idiots?
Let people make the decision to defy nature or God's will and not attempt to save the idiots that make a bad choice. No excuses like my gas tank is empty, I am broke, I am too fat to get my rear out the door or I was just too darn stupid.
In my sister's town, the fire department came down her street 1 hour before people were supposed to evacuate and said there was a mandatory evacuation. The neighboring town had been out since the day before going door to door. My niece took her baby and went to her boyfriend's house, and my sister, nephew and younger niece tried to make it to my house. They ended up caught in a flood, and had to be rescued by my sister's ex, who took them back home. My nephew's car ended up lost to the flood. They would have been safer at home, but tried to heed the evacuation and almost lost their lives in the process. At home they only lost power but they were safe.
I can see it on the news now....family of four dies because parents didnt want a bill for being rescued. Any kids in trouble should be rescued without hesitation. Also, these people are tax payers. They dont need to pay ****. If you dont want to be put in harms way, dont become a first responder. Plain and simple.
When an evacuation order is issued and you refuse to leave, you should have to sign a legal document stating that fact. The Police officers, or National Guard, or whoever then obtains an inside the cheek DNA swab and a photo of you. The swab and photo (used for indentification purposes just in case you don't make it) and paperwork goes into a zip lock bag, and the officials wish you good luck.
If you have a vehicle, you've probably had enough time to fill the tank and leave in the other direction, when you get down to 1/4 tank, you stop and negogiate a motel for a week. I realize quite a few people in larger cities don't have vehicles and depend on public transportation, but SOMEBODY is headed in the other direction- beg, pay them, whatever to get a ride.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Occupy Wall Street bought and forgave the student loan debt of more than 2,700 Everest College students.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'