While I understand that first responders and emergency personnel are put at risk by people who refuse to evacuate and then get into trouble, I still believe it is their right to stay. I think a better option would be to allow people to stay, if they wish, with the understanding that no help will arrive for emergency situations. Period. If necessary, make them sign a legal document stating such. I live on a bluff, so I’m not as worried about storm surge as the next guy. Besides, if I see a Category 3 coming my way, I’m outta here. Like the saying goes, “I may be dumb…”
It is my belief that the Legislators should amend this law and I have written to my Representative Allan Ritter about it. Part of his reply is as follows…

“A lot of people have weighed in on the most controversial part of the bill, including city and county officials and leaders, as well as various state officials across Texas. Representative Ritter appreciates your input because constituents are the ones that matter. He will remain mindful of it during the next Legislative Session—if similar issues come before the legislature.

The main concern is the implementation of the law. Representative Ritter understands people being concerned over the mandatory evacuation provisions in the bill, however, it’s just how Representative Eiland of Galveston put it, “it’s the implementation of the law that is going to be the test of whether it’s good or not.””

I agree. The law’s implementation is key. How might this be abused? One wonders.

[Originally posted here August 25, 2009.]

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December 2022