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Reasoning with the Unreasonable

It does seem that at some point local governments will need to create ways to encourage people who are able to evacuate from zones in the path of disaster but choose not to do so. Although in the case of many people in New Orleans, it wasn’t a matter of choice, I grew up on the Gulf Coast and know that many people more than able to evacuate shrug their shoulders and say, “I’m going to stick around.” I remember talk of “hurricane parties” throughout my childhood – we would shake our heads in disbelief.

The costs to rescue such people are astronomical – and the neighbors who were smart enough to evacuate pay for those costs through taxes.

Maybe a mandatory evacuation should include a price list for rescue should those who can leave, not leave.

Rescue by helicopter: $500 per hour helicopter rental, 2-man crew $100 per hour.
etc.

They would accrue the bills to their property tax bill if they own a home. Other ways could be created to allow them to pay it back over time. Of course, exceptions would be made if one could prove they tried to leave but could not – and the local government would need to provide transportation in advance of a storm to evacuate those who did not have their own transportation or had medical needs that required help so they would not be trapped by circumstances.

The money raised could be put into a disaster fund for future storms.

I’ve always found it astounding that areas such as Malibu vote down changes that would make it easier to fight wildfires because they fear it will change “the local character.” Nothing like fire that can’t be fought to change “the local character.” The selfishness is astounding – they put firefighters at risk just because they like that narrow road vs. one a firetruck can easily maneuver on.

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