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  • Earl and Dean: Category "Much Ado About Nothing" Hurricanes

    In the continuing (over)reaction to the failures of Hurricane Katrina five years ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) once again “leaned forward” in anticipation of a hurricane. For all of its activities in response to Hurricane Dean in 2009, FEMA spent north of $50 million for what amounted to a cloudy day in Houston, as Dean never got close to hitting Texas. Despite the fact that few expected Earl to actually hit the United States, FEMA issued disaster declarations to North Carolina and Massachusetts. Other than some larger waves, stronger winds, and heavier rain, nothing about the storm was of such “severity and magnitude” that the states couldn’t handle Earl on their own.

    It is high time for governors to stiffen their spines and FEMA to get its finger off the declaration trigger.

    Since his inauguration, President Barack Obama has issued 195 FEMA declarations despite the fact that not a single hurricane has hit the United States in that time span and only one minor earthquake has occurred. In less than two years, FEMA under President Obama has issued more declarations than the Eisenhower (106), Kennedy (52), Johnson (93), Ford (101), Carter (176), and H.W. Bush (174) Administrations and only slightly fewer than the Nixon (212) and Reagan (225) Administrations did throughout their entire presidencies. President Obama’s 20-month figure outpaces the Clinton Administration, which didn’t hit its 195th FEMA declaration until its 38th month, and even bests the record-setting Bush Administration’s FEMA declaration pace, as that Administration didn’t issue its 195th FEMA declaration until September 25, 2002—three weeks after the Obama Administration did.

    As we have long argued, this country needs to get FEMA out of the routine natural disaster business and reserve its capabilities for catastrophic events. At the same time, states need to take back the roles they had in natural disasters from 1787 to 1993. Failure to make these changes will only result in more $50 million false alarms, atrophied state capabilities, and a FEMA worn down by the operational tempo of a new declaration every 2–3 days.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Earl and Dean: Category "Much Ado About Nothing" Hurricanes

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      "As we have long argued, this country needs to get FEMA out of the routine natural disaster business and reserve its capabilities for catastrophic events. At the same time, states need to take back the roles they had in natural disasters from 1787 to 1993. Failure to make these changes will only result in more $50 million false alarms, atrophied state capabilities, and a FEMA worn down by the operational tempo of a new declaration every 2–3 days."

      Combined with the private sector, the national guard and local emergency officials can create a new STATE LED catastrophy body that is made up of local and private officials that are employed by their respective places of employment who volunteer for the emergency positions. Rather than have a body of feds who are idle between catastrophies – costing the American tax payers billions, we can completely eliminate FEMA and rely on a state based organization that comes alive based on location and level of emergency. Once the emergency is over, people return to their regularly scheduled job – at no additional cost to the taxpayer! Having a fed based program of any size will do what it needs to to justify their jobs. It is a formula of economic disaster – as is all federal agencies that deal with domestic duties. Volunteers will look for every efficiency to quickly get people back to their lives. As for proof? After 5 years, FEMA is still creating work for their feds in New Orleans taking advantage of Katrina. I am certain this catastrophy would have long since been cleaned up if no fed ever showed up and the locals worked to clear it up. The feds fail at anything they try. I would rather catastrophies be dealt with by the locals.

      In every federal failure, we shoudl be looking at NON-FED solutions. I believe in local control and local governments. And I believe in the partnership local private sector can have with local governments.

    2. West Texan says:

      Well said Matt. Personally I believe FEMA can be put to rest permanently. Even in times of major disasters they've proven wasteful and ineffective. The one department that does provide helpful assistance is defense. As for disaster preparedness and response, it's up to local communities, states and their combined coalitions.

    3. Pingback: Q&A: Does being in finance REALLY requires communications skils like VERY MUCH, rather compared to “marketing” ? | Communication Marketing

    4. Dennis Georgia says:

      The society of today has the mentality of the "guvment" will do all, and take care of all. Gone are the days when we depended on ourselves for the help needed. When neighbors were there and willing to help those in need. Now all are looking for the easy way, not willing to help themselves when in trouble, but are willing to wait on the "guvment". The current so called leader is to busy, blameing Bush for all, to get anything done that might help this country. We are in sad shape, FEMA is a joke.

    5. Pingback: Bill Scher: Five Years After Katrina, Conservatives Still Want To Gut FEMA | ??????

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    7. Larraine, Abingdon, says:

      You people are seriously deranged! The whole idea is to overcompensate JUST IN CASE!!!! This isn't just about an overreaction to Katrina. Remember the trouble the first Bush got into over their lack of adequate response to a hurricane. I doubt that even the most die hard conservatives in Louisiana and other Gulf states wants FEMA to be less than totally prepared. If that means overcompensating, so be it.

    8. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Defund FEMA. Let us get rid of the deficits by starting with defunding FEMA.

      By the way, where was FEMA when floods ravaged Nashville, TN? New Orleans just like every other socilaist bastions in the US is helpless. The US is not built with people like that- those that can not help themselves but act like helpless children. It is disgusting.

    9. Thomas, California says:

      FEMA was created because the states were begging the feds to centralize disaster control. So maybe you folks should check your history before you suggest that the states could run a disaster agency.

    10. Pingback: USW Blog » Blog Archive » Five Years After Katrina, Conservatives Still Want to Gut FEMA

    11. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Larraine, Abingdon, MD on September 7th, 2010 at 1:00pm said: "You people are seriously deranged! The whole idea is to overcompensate JUST IN CASE!!!! This isn’t just about an overreaction to Katrina. Remember the trouble the first Bush got into over their lack of adequate response to a hurricane. I doubt that even the most die hard conservatives in Louisiana and other Gulf states wants FEMA to be less than totally prepared. If that means overcompensating, so be it."

      ME: So that means we pay for feds setting on their hands doing nothing between "disasters" or worse. make a mountain out of a mole hill to justify federal positions. Either way cost of government goes up in a time when we have no money to pay for it.

      Thomas, California on September 7th, 2010 at 1:00pm said: "FEMA was created because the states were begging the feds to centralize disaster control. So maybe you folks should check your history before you suggest that the states could run a disaster agency."

      ME: If that was the case – so be it. I think that local officials are thinking differently now. FEMA has been a failure since its inception. So far EVERY disaster FEMA has participated with that I have witnessed, has benefitted by local officials and private sector contributions at the dismay of FEMA and other federal agencies. Local governments who know the specifics about their communities gets the job done far quicker than some far off agency who has to get up to speed. What FEMA does that is beneficial (i.e. coordination) can be shifted over to the states and local communities through a private/public organization democratically run out in the open. We are struggling to force the very secretive federal government to be transparent using federal employees. By shifting these responsibilities to professionals who are close to the disaster through an organization that is transparent by nature, we can have a system we can trust in.

      Participants of this organization are employed not by the federal government, but by the respective local governments and companies that volunteer their employees for the service. This system works when you have intermittent need for the service. Moreover, it becomes in the best interest of the organization to quickly solve the problems so people can get back to their respective jobs – not perpetuate them to maintain federal positions. It is also in the best interest to limit and eliminate as much red tape to further hasten the resolution. Feds will only try to figure out how to make the process even longer because it is in their personal interest to do so to maintain their jobs.

      Federal agencies also report to corrupt politicians. Case in point, earlier this year, our US military burned Christian bibles in Afghanistan due to orders by the White House. This is an extreem example how federal agencies answer to political whims. FEMA is a political wing of the party in office. If you are lucky enough to have a President who is above the frey, this may not be a problem. Obama, however has shown what can happen when a President uses his position for political purposes. If you are in a blue state, you will get anything declared. Red state? Well, we'll get back to you – when we feel like it. Federal agencies are political tools for the party in power at the cost of the taxpayer. We are accumulating debt to levels unimaginable. We can no longer afford to have these useless organizations that are dragging down the whole system. There are far better ways of solving these problems without populating the District of Columbia with feds. These means and methods do not need to cost taxpayers the enormous sums of cash like DC is costing us now.

    12. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Compare that with extending Unemployment Benefits. Obama is draining the Fund so it will not be there when the People need it come Kloward-Piven Day. See? These Plutocrats love to waste Public Funds for Political cover. Ask them to use the money wisely and you, my friend are a racist. Social Security was raided to pay for everything else, and look! It is a crisis (not to be wasted). Our Highway Funds are being wasted on Make Work duff, signs and part time temporary workers. The infrastructure will crumble and the real money for real projects will all be gone. Medicare, Medicaid Funds will be drained by the new Obamacare bureaucracy, but I assure you, no funds will be used for actual cures. When you need it, the money will all be gone.

      By all means, Vote Them Out but it will be too late if these Traitors are not Prosecuted soon. 2010 may be the last Vote we get (no, I mean actual elections. Since Obama's new newspeak word is "Choice" and he is a patheological liar, it must mean we will have no choice.

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