Evacuating before major storms can be difficult or even impossible for the poor & elderly

While some Texas officials have been criticized for not ordering mandatory evacuations ahead of Harvey, leaving homes behind is not always a viable option for impoverished, elderly or disabled people.

Whether ordered to do so or not, refusal to evacuate is sometimes viewed as irresponsible, dangerous and possibly life-threatening to both residents and rescuers, but the lack of mobility or expendable income can pose major issues.

These personal constraints lead to many people compromising their safety, left with no other choice but to ride out the storm unless other help or resources are available to them.

Poverty issues

With 15.9 percent of people earning incomes below the poverty line as of 2016, Texas ranks as the 37th poorest state in the country.

“It has been my experience that impoverished families live day to day worrying about the lower tier of Maslow's hierarchies of food and shelter, an existence where any interruption financially can be devastating,” said Marc Burdiss, emergency management expert and owner of Preparedness Solutions.



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