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Residents may be required to provide shelter in emergencies

In the event of an impending crisis, homes and businesses may make ideal shelters if their owners choose to make them available. If legislation written by a Hawaii lawmaker is passed, they would be required to make them available to all members of the public. However, the lawmaker did say that the intent of the law was to prevent businesses or homeowners from sending people out into the streets during an emergency.

The politician further clarified that in a time of crisis, residents are advised to remain sheltered where they are. The proposed legislation would simply allow the law to match the advice given to those in a dangerous situation. It is likely that the original bill will be revised prior to being enacted into law if passed. Business owners said that they wouldn't mind allowing patrons to stay where they were if something similar to the recent missile alert false alarm took place.

However, homeowners had mixed feelings about whether to welcome someone into their homes. While one person said that she wouldn't mind people she knew taking shelter in her home, she would be wary of strangers. Another man echoed that sentiment. If passed, the law would not hold homeowners civilly liable for any damages that occur by allowing someone into their homes during an emergency.

If an individual is harmed in a public place or at someone else's home, he or she may be entitled to receive compensation for damages related to the accident. This may be true if the premises owner knew or should have known about potentially hazardous conditions and took inadequate steps to avoid potentially preventable accidents. An attorney may review a case to determine if negligence occurred. If so, injured victims may collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings.

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