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Registered Citizen Emergency Preparedness Survey Results
Derek Logue of OnceFallen.com
March 2018

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE RESULTS IN MICROSOFT WORD

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In light of a seemingly unprecedented number of natural disasters, including Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the wildfires raging
in the West Coast states, and an unusually harsh winter, it is important to understand the importance of preparing for a natural
disaster. Due to reports of public policies banning registered citizens from shelters across the USA, it is of greater importance a
registered person and their loved ones develop a disaster plan.

Less registered citizens in the survey have a disaster plan in place than the average citizen (only 12 survey takers have a completed
disaster plan vs 39% GP), despite being more likely to experience disruption in personal life than the average citizen. The comment
section of the survey offers a few reasons why some registrants and their families lack a definitive plan, including the belief they will
not receive assistance from disaster relief programs, separation from family, and registry-related issues. Almost half (49) of those
taking the survey has not adopted any emergency plan at all. Only 18 of 100 claimed they have sufficient supplies to adequately
evacuate during a disaster, while a slightly greater number (20) stated they’d be “completely helpless” during a natural disaster.

Of the 100 registrants taking the survey, 26 stated they would take their chances at home and ride out the storm, while nearly half
(45) would flee the area and 29 would go to a shelter, although only 6 stated they’d stay in a segregated shelter. While the number of
people who responded they have experienced disaster-related displacement while on the registry was small, the numbers aligned with
the responses given by all 100 surveyed—3 refused to evacuate, 2 stayed in non-segregated shelters, and 9 fled the disaster zone.
None opted to stay in jail during the storm. Also, only four of those experiencing displacement answered they received disaster relief
of any kind, with only 2 receiving FEMA assistance, and the rest coming from family, friends, churches, or other agencies.

One purpose of this survey was to raise awareness of creating a disaster plan for registered citizens. It is an important issue to
consider, considering registered citizens seem less prepared for displacement than the general population and that registrants are
highly unlikely to receive disaster relief. It is suggested that registrant support groups assist in helping raise disaster relief awareness
to registered persons and their loved ones.

Registered Citizen Emergency Preparedness Survey

INTRODUCTION

The registered citizens forced to live under the Claybourne Causeway in the city of Calusa were never given warning or assistance
from the approaching hurricane. They could not have adequately prepared even if they were given ample time. As the hurricane
inched closer to the camp, the water from the Bay rose over the concrete ledge, flooding the tents and shanties built over the
concrete flat. Camp residents pulled their bodies and remaining possessions with them to the highest point of the underpass, their
only remaining refuge from the Category 3 hurricane. Some try crossing the bridge to the mainland in the wind and rain. A couple of
camp residents attempt to help an elderly resident to safety but he tumbles into the Bay and out of reach. The old man offers no
resistance as if he seemingly gave up on life, while his rescuer watches a friend die before his eyes.

This story is a work of fiction, of course; this story is from the Russell Banks novel “Lost Memory of Skin.” The fictional story was
based on the real-life city of Miami, Florida and the internationally-known homeless registrant camp that still exists to this day.
However, Banks’s story flirted with reality over the years, most recently with Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in
2017. Those concerned with the well-being of registered citizens and their loved ones waited for news reports on the treatment of
registrants in the path of the hurricane.

Controversial Polk County, FL Sheriff Judd would make headlines in 2017 in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma by making two
posts on the social media site Twitter. The first stated, “If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every
shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed.”[1]  The second Tweet stated, “We cannot and we will not have
innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.”[2]  As a result, a man who allegedly was denied shelter
during Irma for refusing to submit to a background check has sued the controversial sheriff. “The officer … also never told Borreno
that he was suspected of any crime or illegal act at that time,” the suit states. “Criminal suspicion is not raised by trying to enter an
emergency shelter to save one’s life and the life of family members.” Grady Judd responded by claiming the lawsuit was “frivolous”
and attention-seeking, claiming the Plaintiff wasn't treated differently than others seeking shelter. He was offered shelter at the jail and
was offered a ride.  Judd cited “research” claiming a high recidivism rate among sexual offenders, as opposed to others convicted of
other violent crimes. Judd also claimed 43 sex offenders in Polk County were being sheltered in an area of the jail that is not behind
bars, and they are not in custody.[3]

Ron Book, controversial lobbyist and head of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, threatened homeless people with involuntary civil
commitment. “It’s my experience that those individuals who have been unwilling to come off the streets, they all have mental health
issues,” Book told the Miami Herald. “They are a danger to themselves … we will go in and have all of them Baker Acted…“No one's
ever tried this before. But I’m not going to be the mayor of Houston. I’m not going to tell people to take a Sharpie and write their
names on their arm.” Anyone Baker Acted would be committed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Crisis Stabilization Unit, a 20-bed
facility located in the city’s health district, according to the Miami Herald.[4]  The news did not report on the fate of the Hialeah
homeless registrant camp; Derek Logue of OnceFallen.com conducted some in-person interviews during a later visit to the camp and
discovered that the residents were rounded up and sent to a nearby prison and detained in the visitor’s area until Irma had passed
through. They were forced to sleep on the hard floor for over a week with little food and water and no access to shower facilities.

One sheriff’s office bucked the trend of sending registered citizens to jails and prisons or outright denying shelter to registrants—
Pasco County, the county just north of the St. Peterbsurg/ Tampa Bay area. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office set up a shelter for
registrants in a high school. When asked why, the spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, Kevin Doll, “They need someplace to go
just like any other citizen.” The Tampa Bay Times reported, “The Sheriff's Office has informed sex offenders in Pasco to report to
the shelter if they have nowhere else to go. If an offender is found in another Pasco shelter where there are children present, Doll
said, that offender could be arrested. Sex offenders from other counties will also be allowed in, Doll said, if they disclose their status
to deputies.”[5]  The Pasco Sheriff’s Twitter comment was the opposite of Sheriff Grady Judd’s threatening tone, stating, “Please
share NO ONE is being turned away at ANY shelters. This includes pets without papers/tags or people without ID. Seek shelter!”[6]

The response of Floridians to Hurricane Irma in September 2017 highlights the unique challenges and difficulty of enduring natural
disasters for those forced to register as “sex offenders.” Tropical storms and hurricanes are a part of life living in coastal states; the
US suffers major tropical storm events at least once every few years. However, other disasters can leave a registrant without a
home. In much of the US, winter brings the occasional blizzard and arctic air. Along the west coast, fires and earthquakes can
happen at any time. The Midwestern and Southern states endure tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Even an event on a more
personal level, like a house or apartment fire, can leave a registrant out on the street and in need of shelter. People are expected to
make adequate preparations for these natural disasters, but as registered citizens, we are expected to make different kinds of
preparations as the result of the laws and the stereotypes about registered persons.

METHODOLOGY

This survey was posted online using the website esurv.org, a completely free, secure, and unlimited online survey website
independently funded by The Ohio State University, The University of Edinburgh, UK, Indiana University, University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, Universit de Provence lettres et sciences humaines, France, and the University of Toronto, Canada. The survey allows
unlimited responses and has options to filter responses. Because a small minority of survey takers had experienced web browser-
related issues, a handful of responses were duplicate copies of completed responses, and were subsequently manually purged from
the results. This in no way affects the survey, as only these duplicate submissions as the result of web-related issues were purged
from the results. Responses were gathered between September 2017 and February 2018. The survey was submitted to numerous
registry reform activists as well as posted on the OnceFallen.com website and social media.

RESULTS

Each question will be addressed individually.

SECTION 1: DEMOGRAPHICS

This section covers some general information about those who participated in the survey.

1. Are you a registered citizen (i.e., someone forced to register as a "sex offender") or the loved one of a registered citizen?

This survey was open to registered persons and their loved ones. It is important to note that many registrants have limited access to
the Internet while on supervision, thus becoming necessary to open the survey to loved ones of those on the registry. It was also
requested that only one entry per household was required. Out of the 100 respondents to this question, 80 were Registered Citizens
while 20 were loved ones living with a registrant.

2. Are you (or the registrant in your household) "On paper" (supervised release/ probation/ parole/ house arrest or equivalent)?

It is surprisingly hard to come up with a single term for someone who is on probation or parole. Some people call it being “on
paper,” some states call it “supervised release” or “community control,” but whatever term you use, the act of reporting to an agent
of the court as a part of your sentence generally requires living under more restrictions than a registered citizen not on supervision.
Being on supervised release may cause a unique set of difficulties when preparing for a disaster.

Of the 100 respondents to this question, 57 stated they were not on any form of supervision, while 43 were on some form of
supervision.

3. Which natural disaster(s) are most likely to negatively impact your life and require you to seek emergency shelter? Please check
ALL that apply.


Hurricanes tend to attract the most attention in America, but natural disasters (or even some unnatural disasters like an oil spill or
nuclear plant explosion) can occur at any time and any place. FEMA states that 80% of Americans live in a county that has impacted
by a weather-related disaster since 2007.[7]  Rather than asking respondents for specific geographical locations, this survey asked
what disasters one might face in the area in which they reside. The following answers from 100 respondents were given as follows:

  • Tornadoes/ Severe Thunderstorms: 66
  • Flooding (including from dam / levee breaks): 42
  • Extreme cold/ Blizzards: 42
  • Hurricanes: 31
  • Wildfires: 27
  • Extreme Heat: 26
  • Earthquakes: 19
  • Mudslides: 4
  • Other: 7

SECTION 2:  DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

FEMA reported in 2015 that “nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a
disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year. Further, only 39 percent of respondents have
developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their household.”[8]  A personal assumption before examining the results here
would be that registrants would be more acutely aware of the need to have a plan in place as the result of a higher risk for
displacement in the community. Does this assumption match the results, however? Questions 4, 5, 9, and 10 cover disaster relief
plans of registered citizens.

4. Are you aware of any formal governmental shelter plan in your area in event of a natural disaster?

Some areas have official disaster relief plans in place, while some seemingly do not. If you live along the coast, you might see signs
advertising an evacuation path for tsunamis.

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 76 stated they were unaware of any official natural disaster plans
  • 6 stated they knew they would be flat-out refused shelter
  • 10 stated they would be required to report to a jail or prison
  • 4 stated they would be allowed to stay in a segregated part of a shelter
  • 4 stated they would be unsegregated in a normal shelter

5. If your home was in danger of being destroyed today in a natural disaster, what would be your most likely course of action?

Disaster relief for Hurricane Irma provided a scary window into the disaster relief efforts as applied to registered citizens. Some were
given the options to stay in segregated shelters while others were forced to ride out the storm in jail. Taking into consideration that
past surveys found registered citizens to be poorer than the general population, it seems less likely that a registered citizen would be
able to flee an approaching disaster.

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 26 stated they would stay home, taking their chances with the disaster
  • 0 stated they would voluntarily accept any shelter, even if it meant jail
  • 6 stated they’d be unwilling to go to jail but would accept segregated shelter arrangements
  • 23 stated they would not accept anything less than similar treatment in an equal shelter for the general population
  • 14 stated they would flee the area and stay in a hotel
  • 31 stated they would flee the area and stay with a friend or loved one

9. Do you have a personal disaster plan?

As stated earlier, FEMA estimated only 39% of Americans have a disaster relief plan in place. Fear of upheaval doesn’t seem to
translate into developing a game plan for the average citizen. However, registrants are more likely to experience life disruptions like
loss of residence, so some people might conclude registrants would be more likely to prepare for a natural disaster. However, it
would be equally reasonable to assume that because of the unique problems (such as residency restriction laws) plaguing registrants,
many simply don’t have time to consider an event as rare as a natural disaster.

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 12 stated they have a complete disaster relief plan
  • 39 have stated they have given a disaster relief plan some thought but do not have a completed plan in place
  • 49 stated they lack a plan at all

While half of respondents have at least given the idea some thought, only 12 out of 100 have a complete disaster relief in place, lower
than the 39% number of the average citizen.

10. Do you feel you have enough resources (money, food, basic needs) today to get you by in the event of a natural disaster?

FEMA stated one way to prepare for a natural disaster is to keep an emergency supply bag in place. At the least, having a first aid kit,
some food and water, and possibly some cash money should be on hand in the event you and/or your loved ones should suffer
temporary displacement. However, the results of a 2016 job and welfare survey of registrants found that registered persons are more
likely to be unemployed, welfare dependent, and living in poverty, and less likely to be full-time employed or have a job making more
than $30,000 annually.[9]

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 18 stated they have sufficient supplies/ “Everything I Need”
  • 62 stated “I may have enough to get by on some needs but deficient in other needs”
  • 20 stated if a disaster happened today they’d have no resources/ “completely helpless”

SECTION 3: VIEWS ON SHELTER SEGREGATION

In light of the revelation registrants were denied shelter or forced to stay in segregated shelters during Hurricane Irma, it was
necessary to ask the opinions of registrants on making the decision to stay at a segregated shelter or a jail in the event of a natural
disaster. While Questions 4 and 5 already asked about whether a registrant had the option to stay at a segregated shelter, questions 6,
7 and 8 cover the opinions of registrants and loved ones on the issue of segregated shelters.

6. Please answer this even if you have the resources to flee. If you were fleeing a natural disaster and you had no other option but
to seek a local shelter, and a law enforcement agent told you that the family could stay but the registered citizen would be refused
shelter, what would you do?


Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 55 stated they would refuse to separate and thus refuse the shelter
  • 45 stated they’d be willing to accept segregation from their loved ones

7. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd made headlines for telling registered citizens to not enter his shelters and instead can go to jail.
Interestingly, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, whose department has been known in the past to harass registered citizens made
headlines by taking the opposite approach and offered shelter in a separate part of a high school to registered citizens. Describe
your opinion on this matter.


This question covered the touchy subject of two Florida sheriffs offering different policies in handling emergency shelters during
Hurricane Irma. While Grady Judd told registrants not to stay in any Polk County shelter (although he did offer the jail as a shelter
option), Sheriff Chris Nocco in nearby Pasco County offered a segregated shelter to registered citizens that was not a jail or prison.
This question asked for the respondents’ feelings on whether segregated shelters were better options than jail or no shelters at all.

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 1 believed Grady Judd/Polk was right, Chris Nocco/ Pasco was wrong
  • 29 believed Chris Nocco/ Pasco was right, Grady Judd/ Polk was wrong
  • 5 believed both sheriffs/ counties made valid points about public safety
  • 55 felt both were completely wrong on this issue

8. Grady Judd is being sued by a man denied shelter by Judd during Hurricane Irma. What is your reaction to this news?

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 25 believe the man suing Grady Judd will “win big”
  • 75 believe the man suing Grady Judd will not win his case, but are glad that Grady Judd is facing a lawsuit
  • 0 believe Grady Judd was “just doing his job” and should not be sued

SECTION 4: REGISTRANTS IMPACTED BY NATURAL DISASTERS

Questions 11, 12, and 13 apply specifically to respondents who have actually endured displacement as the result of a natural disaster.

11. Have you personally experienced displacement/ evacuation orders as the result of an act of nature?

Of the 100 respondents to this question:

  • 13 stated they had experienced at least temporary displacement
  • 87 stated they had not

12. Please answer this question ONLY IF you answered YES to question 11. When you were displaced/ evacuated, what best
describes your temporary living conditions?


Of the 14 respondents to this question:

  • 3 refused to leave their homes
  • 0 stayed in a jail/ prison
  • 0 stayed in a segregated shelter
  • 2 stayed in a non-segregated shelter
  • 9 fled the potential disaster area

13. After the natural disaster had passed, did you receive any disaster recovery assistance? Please check ALL that apply if yes.
(Please answer ONLY of you answered YES to question #11.)


Of the 17 respondents to this question:

  • 11 stated they received no disaster relief whatsoever
  • 0 received any assistance from the Red Cross
  • 2 received assistance from FEMA
  • 1 received assistance from a local government agency
  • 2 received assistance from church ministries
  • 2 received aid from secular assistance programs
  • 4 received assistance from friends and family
  • 1 stated they received “other” forms of assistance

It is not surprising that the Red Cross would not offer assistance to respondents; they’ve discriminated against registered persons for
years. The Red Cross, in response to critical news stories by stating the following:

“The Red Cross has policies and procedures in place to handle the presence of sex offenders in shelters and works closely with law
enforcement in the shelter management process. Shelter registration forms ask if people are required to register with the state for any
reason. If the answer is “yes” the shelter manager must speak with the individual immediately. If a shelter resident is identified as a
registered sex offender, the Red Cross will work with local law enforcement to determine what’s best for the safety of those in the
shelter. There was at least one situation during Sandy where a shelter resident identified someone who he/she thought was a sex
offender. When this was brought to our attention, we brought in additional resources and handled the matter.”[10]

One report following Tropical Storm Harvey in 2017 confirms the policy:

“During the first few hours of rescues, flood victims were brought to the nearest shelter and dropped off. Rescue crews needed to
work fast and get back out to save lives. While folks were dropped off fast at the time, shelters are performing background checks
now, officials said.

Two people were reportedly turned away from shelters in Jefferson County because of their sex offender registration, Patin said.
The American Red Cross does not allow registered sex offenders into emergency shelters, said MaryJane Mudd, who works in the
nonprofit's Texas Gulf Coast regional office. ‘The one thing we ask is that they tell us if they've had to register with the state for any
reason,’ Mudd said. ‘We don't ask about citizenship or ethnicity or criminal history.’ If a sex offender is brought to a Red Cross
shelter and discloses their registration, they will be given alternative provisions, which may include moving them to a different
location, depending on the facility, Mudd said.

This system relies entirely on the offender self-reporting, Mudd said. She said shelter workers do not cross-reference names with
state databases. "If they are not honest with us, we will not know," she said. "But we have a strong security presence at all of our
shelters.’ Between police presence and the numbers of staff and volunteers, the Red Cross did not have an issue with sex offenders
showing up at local shelters, Mudd said.”[11]

SECTION 5: COMMENTS SECTION

14. Please add any further comments you feel is important to survey readers to know. Please share personal thoughts or actual
experiences you have had during natural disasters.


Question 14 gave respondents the option to add personal comments or details about their own previous disaster experiences to the
survey. Below are only slightly redacted responses (only omitting personal comments or info that identifies a respondent and slightly
edited for readability):

  • “Had to fight to get an answer for permission to stay at in-laws residence from probation office which was conveniently
    closed the day before the hurricane landing. Only received a response by sending a duplicate e-mail to my attorney of the e-
    mail sent to my probation officer not asking for permission but saying I will be at that address regardless of a decision or not.
    Mind you now, I stay in an RV trailer thanks to these outrages laws which prohibit me from staying with my own wife and
    son. I also live in Polk County and would never set foot in a Polk County jail for shelter. There is no reason why I cannot be
    treated as a human being by an American citizen.”
  • “My prepping continues”
  • “These laws restricting shelter occupancy by registered citizens are ridiculous to the core. They illustrate how little actual
    thought is given to these issues. Law enforcement has always only used the ‘lizard brain’ to think with, but one would think
    that someone somewhere would take a look at this and see the collateral damage that such stupid, senseless policies cause.”
  • “During the flood of the Mississippi in 1993 I was Red Cross chairman in ***  and I was the ***  County coroner  I am a
    registered offender for life now…During that flood I helped to shelter many people and filled many sandbags today I do not
    feel that kindness would be given to me by anyone.”
  • “Not too long ago when a huge storm passed through southern Georgia, I feared the mobile home I rented/lived in would get
    damaged by the wind or a tree falling down. There were warnings in the area to get out of mobile homes, so I texted my PO
    that I may have to find a shelter. She said okay, just let her know where I was. At about 4am as the winds increased greatly, I
    packed as much stuff into my vehicle as I could (I already had it all ready to go beforehand) and drove to a Walmart parking
    lot where it w-as much safer (instead of going to a shelter where I might be turned away). I tried to sleep there for a few
    hours but didn't sleep at all. I told my PO what I did around 7am. She almost had a hissy fit over it and said I have to go to a
    shelter next time. I told her, I did go to a "shelter" and felt very safe where I went and there wasn't anything illegal about
    where I went or did. Our particular Walmart welcomes overnight campers (as many Walmarts do). The next time she visited
    me, she brought a paper with evacuation instructions with ‘designated’ shelters listed :(. As it turned out, the shed in my
    backyard blew away and smashed into a tree and a few limbs fell from the trees, but no other damage (hence, no need for
    disaster recovery assistance). Note: question 12 should have an option for "I fled to a safe area away from my home but not
    in a shelter.”
  • “Currently, I don't know exactly what is offered in my community for registered citizens. As a truck driver, I have sought
    shelter in a jail during a severe snow and ice storm while on the road. I was not a registered citizen at the time and I was
    treated as a "guest" in an unlocked section of the jail. After being an inmate in the case that led to the registry, I don't think I
    would feel comfortable with this. Funny. I never dreamed I would have to think this deeply about this problem.”
  • “Wrong is wrong.”
  • “The Sex Offender Laws have been a big failure; they have not been shown to protect anybody. We spend millions of dollars
    every year on them, and billions on Civil Commitment. It is time that our nation, and the world realize this and reform the laws
    and restrictions. All they do is encourage hate, harassment, and shame. We say we are protecting children, yet there are
    children on the list, we have gone too far with all the laws. I am from Florida; my son is on the list for life. He was 17 he
    downloaded child porn, and it was shared via Lime Wire, 4 months after he did this the sheriff's office arrested him. He didn't
    view or no the file that was shared was there, the deputy opened it. Yet he served 4 years in a youthful offender camp, and
    then the restriction and list. There is over 20 years of research law makers in all states need to form committees to study the
    research, then make informed laws. People like Ron and Lauren Book who use the laws and people's fear as their own
    personal vendetta, even when confronted with the research refuse to acknowledge it. It's time for a change, and then people
    like Grady Judd who is a disgrace to law enforcement; he won't allow body cams or dash cams. Why? There is something
    very wrong with that. People talk about "draining the swamp" they need to take a long hard look at all of Florida's law makers,
    law enforcement, and laws. When Patty Wetterling can look at the laws and say enough, we have over stepped bounds, the
    wrong people are being punished, then you need to stop and think. I pray for the day that all states will use common sense to
    create our laws, nobody should be on a public list for life, and if there is any list it should be law enforcement only. The other
    ridiculous laws like the signs, the special driver’s license, the banning from shelters during life threatening events. I have other
    children who are affected by all of these laws; I have grand-children affected by it. We live in fear that we could be attacked;
    I have two daughters affected by rape. One at 19, the other at 15, I understand that pain, the fear, the anger, but it serves no
    purpose. What about the people who are sexually assaulted? 90% of children are assaulted by family members, so by
    publishing the offenders, you are exposing the victims to the same public.”
  • “Everyone deserves to be treated equally. Everyone needs to keep in mind there is more than one side, we should be heard.
    There is only one person who should pass judgement not the entire world whom doesn't know the facts.”
  • “I've never even considered the rules governing shelters and I have no plan for natural disaster readiness.”
  • “I think registered sex offenders have rights too. They deserve to work and live like everyone else as long as it is not around
    children.”
  • “Question 6 if I were not allowed to shelter with family I would insist my wife and children take shelter and I would take my
    chances it's not a matter of being willing to endure separation it's having no other reasonable option. Question 4 Jail/prison
    was the most traumatic experience of my life no one should be forced to re-live a traumatic experience unnecessarily I would
    never voluntarily walk into another jail/prison again.”
  • “I so thank you for your very knowledgeable mind and taking the time that you do for helping people like me. Thank you and
    I have learned a lot. I do however what to through something at you to get ya going more.�� I am a female sex offender here
    in Ohio and OBJP is so awesome helping so many people with alcohol and drug abuse and the even help male sex offenders
    with housing and all, I have begged and called and I still can't get help, can you maybe help me in anyway? This going from
    place to place, job to job and men to men has got to stop and I have tried believe I have, but I don't know where to turn, I
    have no one and going to college didn't help because it was medical, I have had over a 100 jobs in my life because of this. I
    am not going to go on and on but I am lucky to be here today, whatever anyone can do to a women I've been through it,
    getting shot and chased at in Alabama I thought I was done. Anyways, thanks again for your knowledge and I look forward
    to reading more. Maybe start kicking some knowledge ass here in Akron, Ohio for females(Smiley Face Emojis). Thank you
    so much again.”
  • “When the Sex Offender Laws were created, they failed to take into account that disasters happen. They didn't take into
    account what to do with persons who are registered after they are released. The residency restrictions make matters even
    worse, where do you go? Most shelters are either in a school, or there will be children present. There was so much emotion
    with these laws, and no thought as to the reality of them. It is time to completely revamp/reform all of the sex offender laws
    and use some common sense when doing so. People who are not a danger have served their time do not deserve these laws,
    and restrictions. No person deserves to be treated as they are, if they are safe to be released from prison, then you should
    have a plan for them. Florida has completely gone too far with all of the laws, not to mention even if you leave the state they
    still mess you up. Sheriff Judd has a lot of issues, and seems to either just enjoy bullying people, or is just a person who is
    incapable of forgiveness.”

DISCUSSION

Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this survey is that less registered citizens in the survey have a disaster plan in place than
the average citizen (only 12 survey takers have a completed disaster plan vs 39% GP), despite being more likely to experience
disruption in personal life than the average citizen. The comment section of the survey offers a few reasons why some registrants
and their families lack a definitive plan, including the belief they will not receive assistance from disaster relief programs, separation
from family, and registry-related issues. Almost half (49) of those taking the survey has not adopted any emergency plan at all. Only
18 of 100 claimed they have sufficient supplies to adequately evacuate during a disaster, while a slightly greater number (20) stated
they’d be “completely helpless” during a natural disaster.

Of the 100 registrants taking the survey, 26 stated they would take their chances at home and ride out the storm, while nearly half
(45) would flee the area and 29 would go to a shelter, although only 6 stated they’d stay in a segregated shelter. While the number of
people who responded they have experienced disaster-related displacement while on the registry was small, the numbers aligned with
the responses given by all 100 surveyed—3 refused to evacuate, 2 stayed in non-segregated shelters, and 9 fled the disaster zone.
None opted to stay in jail during the storm. Also, only four of those experiencing displacement answered they received disaster relief
of any kind, with only 2 receiving FEMA assistance, and the rest coming from family, friends, churches, or other agencies.

Respondents were asked questions about their feelings toward shelter segregation; unsurprisingly, most respondents viewed
segregation practices negatively. Only 45 of 100 stated they’d be willing to accept segregation from their loved ones during a natural
disaster. In particular, question 8 asked about their feelings about the two Florida sheriffs at the heart of the Hurricane Irma shelter
discussions—Grady Judd, the Polk Co. Sheriff who denied emergency shelters and offered to jail registrants during the storm, and
Chris Nocco, the Pasco Co. Sheriff that opened a segregated shelter to registrants. The majority (55 of 100) felt both sheriffs
handled the task of sheltering registrants; 29 sided with Nocco, 5 believed both were right, and 1 respondent sided with Judd. No one
believed Grady Judd should not be sued for his actions, 25 believe Judd will lose the lawsuit, while 75 believe Judd won’t lose but
were glad he is being sued.  

In a way, the results are rather surprising; registered persons, who are more likely than the general population to endure
homelessness or other disruptions in life. On the other hand, because registered citizens are more likely to be poor than the general
population, the lack of preparedness could be related to a focused need on just trying to make ends meet. It is plausible:  
“Over 270,000 evacuees started out in shelters. The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School
of Public Health surveyed 680 randomly selected adult evacuees in Houston shelters on September 10-12, 2005. The results of that
survey illustrate who ended up in shelters:

  • 64% were renters
  • 55% did not have a car or a way to evacuate
  • 22% had to care for someone who was physically unable to leave
  • 72% had no insurance
  • 68% had neither money in the bank nor a useable credit card
  • 57% had total household incomes of less than $20,000 in prior year
  • 76% had children under 18 with them in the shelter
  • 77% had a high school education or less
  • 93% were black
  • 67% were employed full or part-time before the hurricane
  • 52% had no health insurance
  • 54% received their healthcare at the big public Charity Hospital

The people who were left behind in Katrina were the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, children, and prisoners - mostly African-
American.”[12]

Since the government lacks any information on disaster preparedness specifically for registered citizens and their loved ones, as well
as passing a myriad of laws to segregate or exclude registered persons from shelters, registered citizens and their loved ones should
develop a disaster relief plan that does not depend on government assistance. Since many shelters segregate registrants or deny
shelter altogether, the best course of action will to prepare to either flee the area or to develop a plan to stay at home. Registrants
should keep a supply of necessities and some money (if possible) in the event of a disaster. Having a disaster plan in place will save
registered citizens and their loved ones from making difficult decisions in the future.

REFERENCES

  1. @PolkCoSheriff. “If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex
    offenders/predators will not be allowed.” Twitter. 6 Sept. 2017., 10:30am, https://twitter.
    com/PolkCoSheriff/status/905438093527928834
  2. @PolkCoSheriff. “We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.”
    Twitter. 6 Sept. 2017, 11:16am, https://twitter.com/PolkCoSheriff/status/905449649204584448
  3. Torralva, Krista and Lemongello, Steven. “Hurricane Irma: Florida sheriff who threatened arrests at shelters is sued.” Orlando
    Sentinel. 10 Sept. 2017. Web. <http://www.orlandosentinel.com/weather/hurricane/os-polk-county-grady-judd-sex-offenders-
    20170909-story.html>
  4. Smiley, David. “Miami’s homeless to be committed if they won’t seek shelter from Irma.” Miami Herald. 7 Sept. 2017. Web.
    <http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/article171813132.html>
  5. Wilson, Kirby. “Hurricane Irma: Pasco to open shelter for sex offenders.” Tampa Bay Times. 7 Sept. 2017. Web. <http:
    //www.tampabay.com/news/weather/hurricanes/hurricane-irma-pasco-to-open-shelter-for-sex-offenders/2336670>
  6. @PascoSheriff. “Please share NO ONE is being turned away at ANY shelters. This includes pets without papers/tags or
    people without ID. Seek shelter!” Twitter. 9 Sept. 2017. 4:42 pm. Web. <https://twitter.
    com/PascoSheriff/status/906618793862090755>
  7. “Sixty Percent of Americans Not Practicing for Disaster: FEMA urges everyone to prepare by participating in National
    PrepareAthon! Day on April 30.” FEMA. 28 Apr 2015. Web. < https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/04/28/sixty-percent-
    americans-not-practicing-disaster-fema-urges-everyone-prepare>
  8. Ibid.
  9. Logue, Derek. “The 2016 Once Fallen Job & Welfare Survey.” OnceFallen.com. Web. <http://www.oncefallen.
    com/files/Once_Fallen_Job_and_Welfare_Survey_Results.pdf>
  10. Howe, Laura. “American Red Cross Responds to Inaccuracies in ProPublica and NPR Stories.” Red Cross Chat, 29 Oct
    2014. Web < https://redcrosschat.org/2014/10/29/american-red-cross-responds-to-inaccuracies-in-propublica-and-npr-
    stories/>, Retrieved 12 Aug 2018
  11. Gstalter, Morgan. “How are sex offenders tracked during a storm?” Beaumont Enterprise, 16 Sept 2017. Web. < https://www.
    beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/How-are-sex-offenders-tracked-during-a-storm-12202796.php> Retrieved 12 Aug 2018
  12. Quigley, Bill. “Six Months After Katrina: Who Was Left Behind - Then and Now.” Common Dreams.  21 Feb 2006. Web. <
    https://web.archive.org/web/20060222235907/http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0221-36.htm> Retrieved 11 Aug 2018