I have a quick poll for Ponderstorm readers. Who should pay for the rescue of able-bodied people stranded by hurricanes after authorities issued clear evacuation orders and people refused to leave?
My position is that if there has been a clear call to evacuate an area that will be in imminent danger and able-bodied individuals decide to stay behind at their own risk, then the government should charge a fee for rescuing such individuals later if they request or need such services.
Rescue officials do not risk their own lives for the convenience of foolish residents. Rescue services are for emergencies only. An emergency is defined as “a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.” Rescue services are designed for the unexpected, not for the foolish. Those who foolishly risk their own lives when warned should compensate those emergency service agencies who later are compelled to come to their aid. To not assess a fee or require compensation of any kind is to force everyone (taxpayers) to pay for the foolish choices of others who had been given sufficient warning to leave but chose to risk their own lives and the lives of the emergency officials.
Please note: I said “refused to leave” and referenced “able-bodied” people only in my question. I am not holding those who are unable to leave to the same standard neither am I suggesting that they should have to pay a fee for emergency services on their behalf.