Can You Be Arrested for Violating an Evacuation Order

Wildfires in California as well as tropical storms and hurricanes in Florida as well as an accident involving a train within Ohio have all caused authorities to issue compulsory evacuation orders. Although these evacuation orders are designed to protect life, there are some who do not follows.

So what happens if remain? Are you likely to be arrested by police because you did not comply with an evacuation order that is mandatory?

Authority To Issue Evacuation Orders 

Everyone does not want to be compelled to leave their home. However, the reason for evacuation orders is protecting the population, and states and local authorities are able to establish and enforce emergency management rules to ensure public safety.

Each state has statutes which empower their governors to issue emergency evacuation instructions in threat of imminent dangers including intense weather, fire or chemical spill. The federal government is also granted similar power. In most cases, states cooperate together with federal authorities in order to coordinate the responses to emergencies.

What Happens if You Refuse to Leave? 

In addition to the authority of granting evacuation order, the state law gives the government the authority to enforce orders. In every state, courts have upheld these laws.

The penalties and enforcement for violations of evacuation orders differ according to the state. For instance, in Texas there is officials from the local government may allow law enforcement officials to expel residents from an area that has been evacuated. In Florida and North Carolina A person could receive a second degree misdemeanor when they violate the evacuation orders.

Despite the statutory penalties for failure to obey evacuation orders there are a few who are taken into custody or are charged with a crime due to infractions. More often, arrests that happen related to an evacuation are for burglars taking advantage of empty homes or > Those seeking a more detailed view of the disaster.

The Consequences of Staying Put 

Some states have exemptions to evacuation orders when you reside on your personal property. For instance, in Louisiana it is the case that a resident is allowed to remain at their home in spite of an evacuation order. However, the law clarifies that those who are not in their homes during a hurricane or other local emergency are at risk of not being rescued by the first responders or offered emergency services.

Other jurisdictions have resorted to inventive methods to persuade those in an evacuation area to abide by instructions. The year 2005 was the first time Virginia emergency workers offered those who refused to obey the evacuation order magical marker for writing the Social Security numbers on their bodies to be recognized after an event like a storm. The year 2011 was the same. Connecticut official made holdouts at the hurricane Irene sign an no-rescue waiver.

What if You Can’t Leave on Your Own? 

Every person must have a plan for emergency evacuation. If you find yourself in a position where you’re unable to evacuate on your own due an impairment or other needs, an additional preparation is necessary. Special needs people are advised to join their local emergency management organization or the statewide registry for special needs to get assistance in the event of a natural disaster.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 

Although you may not be incarcerated for refusing to evacuate an area You must adhere to an evacuation order and not only do you put your personal life at risk by failing to follow through, but you could be putting first responders at risk who put their lives in danger as a result of natural disasters.

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