Its Wrong to Think Tyler, Texas Businesses Must Give Shelter During Severe Storms
For some reason, its been going around about where to seek shelter if you are caught outside during severe weather. Since certain businesses have been mentioned as good places to get into during severe weather, it has morphed into businesses are required to take you in. This is a misconception that needs to end and can turn into a crowd-with-lit-pitchforks mentality. Patrick Mahomes mom is a perfect example of this.
For the last few weeks, we've had to deal with severe weather in East Texas. Most recently was Tuesday night, April 12. The Azalea District of Tyler got hit pretty hard with the storm warranting a tornado warning and knocking over many trees into houses and power lines. During this bout of severe weather, Patrick Mahomes' mom, Randi, and her daughter were caught outside in the chaos. She shared this tweet:
Her followers started jumping to conclusions of the business ignoring her outside or refusing to let her in. Randi followed up by tweeting that workers had most likely already taken cover and just simply didn't know they were outside:
When did it become a requirement for a business to offer you shelter during severe weather?
For some reason, a lot of people seem to think this is a thing and its just not.
Having said that, that doesn't mean that a business doesn't have a plan for severe weather. I remember 20 plus years ago when I worked at Burger King in the Westwood Shopping Center of actually going through severe weather drills. If there were customers in the dining room, we were to gather them, along with the employees, and head to the cooler for shelter. No where in that plan did it say for someone to remain in the lobby to let people in.
Yes, that was over 20 years ago but I seriously doubt a plan similar to that has changed much at all.
During Tuesday's storm, my girlfriend was in Walmart in Lindale. The storm got severe enough outside to knock the power out. The employees of Walmart made sure all the customers that were inside the building remained safe while at the same time not letting anyone into the building.
Why wouldn't they let anyone into the store if the weather was severe outside?
For exactly that reason, the weather was severe outside. By opening the doors and letting someone in, that will create a danger for those sheltered inside. Its the same thing if you opened the doors to your home.
Here's the thing to remember; sure, its neighborly and the "nice and kind thing to do" to give someone shelter during a storm. But its also dangerous and in no way a requirement for a business to let you in. I know our local news stations have said that a business with a big, sturdy building is a good place to go, and they're right, just don't don't assume that that business is required to let you in, because, frankly, they are not.