The long awaited reentry passes for area coastal communities are now available for the 2007 hurricane season.
If Taylor County coastal communities ever have to evacuate again due to an approaching storm, residents shouldn't have a problem getting back to their homes if they have their new reentry passes.
Beach Road resident James Walsh said, "We had the no-named storm here back in '93. Although the police did a very good job, they kept everybody out, but we wanted to be in because we had an interest. We got in finally, but if we had the pass, it probably would've been a lot easier to get in."
Taylor County Emergency Management is issuing reentry permits to coastal residents and business owners, allowing them to return to their property in the event of an emergency such as a hurricane once it is declared safe.
Residents say this could prevent looting.
Leisure Retreats resident Kenny Adams said, "What we don't want is people to come out here and possibly have pilferage.”
Sidney Hill, a Keaton Beach resident, said, "You need the residents to come in and look after their property. You don't need storm chasers or just people looking and getting in the way of emergency recovery."
Taylor County Coastal residents should stick their reentry permits on the bottom left corner of their car's windshield.
"Hopefully we don't ever have to use them," Hill said.
Those on the coast are urged to get their passes as soon as possible. Just bring proper ID to the Emergency Management Office.
Emergency Management officials advise waiting closer to hurricane season before affixing the decals to make sure it will be on the car you'd be in during an evacuation.