Screening Hurricane Evacuees

Amid the many oversights that were discovered in faulty evacuation procedures during hurricanes Katrina and Rita was the lack of information regarding the history of those who were being provided with shelter, food, and transport. As this year's hurricane season rages on, authorities are learning their lessons and not leaving anything to chance.

Hurricane Gustav was the first opportunity to implement background checks on evacuees seeking shelter from the storm. Louisiana implemented the procedure to keep sex offenders from seeking shelter with children after the disaster of Katrina, and the long wake of problems that followed in the months after.

"Authorities said "a couple" of men who were convicted sex offenders arrived with their families. Authorities said the men notified them of their past convictions; their families were allowed in the shelters and the men were taken to a separate location where state probation officials are making arrangements for them to be housed elsewhere. "

As Ike approaches the Gulf of Mexico, Texas is now gearing up for it's own background investigations. Any person needing transportation by bus will be screened in an effort to protect the vulnerable evacuees from any potential threat.

"...state officials would be able to segregate evacuees, even in the chaos of an emergency. “We’ll have procedures,” he [ Jack Colley] said, “and we’re not going to advertise what they are.”

With the possibility of the devastation of hurricanes, and the chaotic process of evacuating large cities, it is nice to know the authorities are taking measures to protect their citizens from further harm.