PODCAST-Hurricane Florence’s devastation is countered by another (collective) civilian rescue force stepping up as government agencies are overwhelmed. Dr. Perrodin describes how both small and large civilian rescue forces develop.
DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode: https://tinyurl.com/SDP79
WHY WE HAVE CIVILIAN RESCUE FORCES.
There are 3 reasons. First, people genuinely want to assist others in a time of need – especially when that situation is a natural disaster. Second, humans desire the presence of a social contract, or as philosopher Thomas Hobbes would put it, without a social contract, people would be “brutish” and chaos would infect the land. We are willing to trade some liberties to the government in exchange for protection. After 9/11, this was especially evident in the authorization of The Patriot Act. The third reason is found in the Constitution, particularly, the 10th Amendment.
THE TENTH AMENDMENT’s BIG ROLE IN DISASTER RESCUE FORCES.
The 10th Amendment states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, governments are engaged in complicated relationships with citizens during times of disaster and crisis. Frankly stated, the government does not possess the resources or ability to rapidly scale which is necessary to mobilize an adequate response to a direct hit from a hurricane. Civilians can respond to rescues as they have that right per the 10th Amendment.
CIVILIAN FORCES TO THE RESCUE!
So, as we saw with the rag-tag boat rescue of 500,000 people in 9 hours from Lower Manhattan on 9/11/2001 and again with Cajun Navy Relief for Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, civilian rescue forces are effective and when melded with government rescue teams, much can be accomplished in removing people from harm’s way. Dr. Perrodin shares an example of how a local private business offered its own amphibious equipment to help people recover items from their homes – that were surrounded by water.
THE COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP
Who is responsible if a citizen volunteer is electrocuted while trying to rescue someone? This is the question that keeps local and state governments at bay of full, overt support of layman rescue groups and what we observe is implicit approval and help of civilian rescue forces. However, this issue must be addressed at a legislative level and Dr. Perrodin encourages some degree of immunity rather than any type of regulation.
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