One Portland, Texas resident is sending a strong message to anyone thinking about burglarizing their property -- "You loot, I shoot."

Apart from taking down boards and cutting down trees, neighborhoods in Portland are also dealing with the fear of looters.

"We're in a state of disaster," a mother of one said. She did not want to be identified. "If I needed to shoot somebody to protect my stuff if they broke into my house, I think that's appropriate."

It was during this time of urgency that many felt they needed to protect their own.

"When you have people that have lost everything, you need food, you need clothes, people get desperate and you go into that kind of mindset," the mother said.

She added that she almost experienced someone breaking in.

"You hear about it all the time when Katrina happened," she said.

She is now wanting to carry protection herself.

"3:20 in the morning, no lights," she said. "It was terrifying. I was scared. We have our kids in the house."

Others we heard from said that although they wouldn't put up a sign themselves they do agree with its message.

"If someone breaks into my house, they're asking for it," one resident said.

And another...

"I don't think you need to threaten people like that, but if you're that person doing those kind of things you run the risk."

Portland police said they have had a couple of business burglaries in the past 48 hours, but they are on heightened alert right now to protect all their citizens.