No city employee will ever force you to leave your home.
In what is undeniably a pretty bizarre incident, a group of unidentified individuals in fluorescent vests have been knocking on Norfolk residents' doors and trying to force them to leave their homes. Reports surfaced on the app Nextdoor this week amidst the evacuation frenzy of Hurricane Florence preparation. Several calls about these individuals were also made to the city care hotline.
These neon-vested figures reportedly claim to work for city government and have been visiting homes and businesses ordering Norfolk residents out of their homes and workplaces. Residents report invasions by the "Neon Vest Department of Imaginary Things" in the Ocean View area.
The City of Norfolk issued a statement that these people absolutely do not work for the city government. City spokesperson Lori Crouch reminds the public that no city employee will ever force you to leave your home.
“We started to get some messages from NextDoor and calls to the Care Center that people were going around in fluorescent vests and going to residents in Zone A basically forcing people to leave their homes,” Lori Crouch said in the statement.
The Neon Guys have been visiting homes in a mandatory evacuation zone, or Zone A area, and apparently playing on public misperception about what, exactly, mandatory evacuation orders mean.
Mandatory evacuation orders mean that you absolutely need to evacuate in order to stay safe. According to the legal definition, "Mandatory evacuation is employed by the authorities as a protective action to help save lives in certain emergencies."
This does not, however, mean anyone will force you to leave. "That's absolutely a personal decision," Crouch says.
In short. the City of Norfolk has no idea who these guys are, so if a stranger in a fluorescent vest approaches your home and orders you to leave, you do not, in fact, have to do that. You can buy fluorescent vests at Walmart.