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  • Gustav:

    Louisiana Firefighters Upset Over Gustav Evacuations:

    ELMWOOD, La. --
    Some Jefferson Parish firefighters complained Wednesday that emergency planners failed them during Hurricane Gustav.

    The first responders said they were bused to government buildings and hospitals without basic necessities.

    "Our emergency managers have failed," said Bob Burkett, president of the Jefferson Parish Firefighters Association. "Once again, we were faced with no food, no water, no ice, no accommodations for our people," Burkett said. "Our people were evacuated to local area hospitals and were basically shown a spot on the floor: No cots, no showers, no reasonable accommodations."

    Maybe someone could clarify a few things for me:

    1. Just WHAT is a MANDATORY EVACUATION...with regard to the PUBLIC?
    2. What if a citizen refuses to evacuate his castle?
    3. Will they be hauled off to jail, maybe beaten with a short length of old booster hose, or maybe even shot by the SWAT team?

    This phrase gets thrown around a bit too often lately, especially when the "wiz-kids" [using their comupter] to predict weather events. One never heard this phrase a few years ago, and somehow...we survived a whole bunch a real messes.
    "Take care of yourself first. Life is too short and you never know what tomorrow or for that matter...what the next few seconds is going to bring."

  • #2
    Our local OEP director explained to me that there are basically 4 levels of evacuation declaration: "Voluntary" and "Precautionary" are pretty closely related, basically a recommended evacuation. "Mandatory", which was the case with Gustav, means that you are ordered to evacuate, but they will not go out and enforce it. They're basically letting you know that if you decide to stay, you're on your own...don't expect any essential services to be provided, including emergency response. The fourth level, "Forced Evacuation", you WILL be forcibly removed if you refuse to cooperate. This would be reserved for IMMEDIATELY life threatening scenarios, such as a major HazMat incident.

    He also pointed out that during a "mandatory" evacuation, authorities may intervene in cases of child endangerment, i.e., Bubba decides to ride out the hurricane in his trailer and he's got his kids with him. Bubba can decide to put his own life in danger if he chooses, but the kids can't make that decision.

    I think the "Mandatory" declaration is basic to avoid liability. They don't have to resources to go around forcing everyone out, and in fact many people in Mandatory evacuation areas did ride it out with no ill effect. It's just their way of letting you know that "you have been warned".
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"


    • #3
      Thanks Chief, your explaination is probably the best that there is out there.
      "Take care of yourself first. Life is too short and you never know what tomorrow or for that matter...what the next few seconds is going to bring."


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