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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Too Drunk To Evacuate Or Helpful Stress Reliever? Key West Officials Consider Closing Bars During Hurricanes

July 31st, 2010 · No Comments

According to an article in the Miami Herald, officials in Key West are considering the prohibition of alcohol sales during hurricanes under a little known law that allows local officials to ban booze during a declared state of emergency:

Last year, as officials of the Southernmost City reviewed their emergency plans, they again considered the possibility of a prohibition during a storm, said Craig Marston, division chief of emergency management and training at the Key West Fire Department.

Safety first, they decided. If a hurricane seems threatening enough, they might declare a ban.

The problem, as they see it, is that famous Keys attitude. Boozers could be too tipsy to take precautions and too drunk to leave during a mandatory evacuation, they fear, and too wobbly to wield chainsaws for the post-hurricane cleanup.

“We have to protect ourselves from ourselves,” Marston said. Monroe County hospitals are required to close during evacuations, so “something as simple as a broken leg can be a life-threatening injury.”

But many Keys residents and business owners think they should be able to relieve their hurricane-related stress with alcohol — before, during and after the storm.

I’d be curious what emergency managers, including Florida’s former head EM head Craig Fugate, think about this idea. The full article can be found here.

Key West residents ’sheltering in place’?

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Tags: Hurricane Preparedness

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