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Despite the Hype, Hurricane Season Ends with a Whimper, but FEMA Activity Runs Amok

Posted By Matt Mayer On November 30, 2011 @ 12:30 pm In Featured | Comments Disabled

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President Barack Obama participates in the midday daily video teleconference led by FEMA at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., USA, on 27 August 2011, to monitor the federal response to damage caused by Hurricane Irene. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

The 2011 hurricane season ends today. Other than Hurricane Irene, which was nearly just a tropical storm when it hit land, no hurricanes [2] hit the United States in 2011.

Of the 455 FEMA declarations issued by the Obama Administration, only Hurricanes Irene and Alex (August 2010) have qualified for Major Disaster Declarations, FEMA’s highest disaster declaration. That is great for America.

The problem is that, despite the rare appearance of hurricanes and only three declarations for earthquakes—yes, the weak tremor that hit Virginia and Washington, D.C., in September earned two of the three declarations—the Obama Administration has shattered all the FEMA records on declarations.

The Bush Administration managed only 331 FEMA declarations in the same period of time. The mighty Clinton Administration FEMA under James Lee Witt mustered only 150 declarations.

As the chart [3] below shows, the Obama Administration seems to be granting a FEMA declaration for every flood, fire, storm, or chipped nail that occurs in America. Here are some of the FEMA records the Obama Administration has set:

  • Most declarations to date: 455 (previous record: Bush, 331);
  • Most declarations in a year: 238 and counting (Clinton, 157);
  • Most Major Disaster Declarations to date: 231 (Bush, 143);
  • Most Major Disaster Declarations in a year: 96 and counting (Bush, 77); and
  • Presidential average: 160.4 per year (Bush 129.5).

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As you can see, the Obama Administration hasn’t just broken records—it’s crushed them. As we highlighted in 2007 [5], 2008 [6], 2009 [7], 2010 [8], and this year [9], the federalization of disasters continues to increase each presidential Administration.

As a stark example, Hurricane Irene received eight FEMA Major Disaster Declarations. In comparison, just six years ago, Hurricane Katrina, easily America’s largest, most deadly and costliest national disaster, resulted in just four FEMA Major Disaster Declarations.

You can do the math and figure out why FEMA is perpetually out of money. If Congress can’t stop this billion-dollar madness, they certainly won’t be able to solve our trillion-dollar national nightmare.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/30/despite-the-hype-hurricane-season-ends-with-a-whimper-but-fema-activity-runs-amok/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/obama-fema-9-28-11.jpg

[2] no hurricanes: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/noaa-finalizes-2011-atlantic-h/58359

[3] the chart: http://www.heritage.org/Multimedia/InfoGraphic/2011/11/FEMA-declarations-by-year-and-presidential-administration

[4] Image: http://blog.heritage.org../wp-content/uploads/fema-declarations-2011.gif

[5] 2007: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/05/fema-and-federalism-washington-is-moving-in-the-wrong-direction

[6] 2008: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/06/the-local-role-in-disaster-response-lessons-from-katrina-and-the-california-wildfires

[7] 2009: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/09/states-stop-subsidizing-fema-waste-and-manage-your-own-local-disasters

[8] 2010: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/04/the-solution-to-femas-budget-woes-is-not-more-money

[9] this year: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/08/homeland-security-4-0-overcoming-centralization-complacency-and-politics

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