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  • natural disasters

    Unlike Hurricane Sandy, Energy Policy Blackouts Threatening Germany Could Be Avoided

    A blackout occurred in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as more than 8 million people in the northeast were left without power. Millions could remain without power for several more days. Hurricane Sandy was a natural disaster that people could prepare for but couldn’t avoid. Blackouts and brownouts caused by … More

    The Media Kerfuffle over National Guard Troops in New York

    On Tuesday, Wired chastised the New York Army National Guard for its decision to continue to send 450 guardsmen to a training exercise in Missouri despite the events of Hurricane Sandy. The article writes: “It seemed like a good use of troops—until their fellow guardsmen were suddenly called in to … More

    Debate over FEMA Disaster Aid: Federal vs. State and Local

    A New York Times editorial published in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation has received a good deal of attention. The article argued that “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” politicizing and distorting calls for reform of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A response by The Wall Street Journal, … More

    New York Times: "A Big Storm Requires Big Government"

    In a shameless attempt to politicize Hurricane Sandy, The New York Times rushed out an editorial, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” attacking conservatives for advocating a rebalancing of disaster response responsibilities. The Times says the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “was put back in working order by President Obama, … More

    FEMA's Use of Waffle House as Severity Indicator a Smart Move

    Recent press reports indicate that FEMA uses the status of Waffle House restaurants to gauge the severity of conditions following a natural disaster. Fox News‘ Garrett Tenney explains: After a disaster, officials call a restaurant in the affected area, and ask what’s on the menu. If the restaurant is serving everything, it … More

    FEMA Funding: What Did Harry Reid Know and When Did He Know It?

    By the time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the floor Monday to berate Republicans for supposedly blocking emergency disaster aid, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had already announced it did not need the money Reid claimed was being blocked. FEMA’s disaster relief fund became a key issue in the … More

    Disaster Response: Unfinished Business

    The Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG) was an outgrowth of the 9/11 Commission tasked with monitoring the implementation of the broad policy recommendations issued by the 9/11 Commission. Among the commission’s original findings were: Emergency response agencies nationwide should adopt the Incident Command System (ICS). When multiple … More

    Morning Bell: Lessons from Hurricane Irene

    Without question, Hurricane Irene struck a major blow to the United States’ East Coast over the weekend. At least 24 people have died, hundreds of thousands remain without power across the mid-Atlantic, and the estimates of direct costs of damage are in the range of billions of dollars. Our thoughts are … More

    Cantor Demands Common-Sense Spending Cuts in Exchange for More FEMA Aid

    Liberals are busy trying to drum up controversy over Representative Eric Cantor’s (R–VA) calls for spending cuts in exchange for more aid to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Cantor is spot on, and we are thrilled to see someone finally trying to curb FEMA’s growth. Hurricane Irene provides Cantor … More

    It Could Get Worse: Floods 101

    We’ve discussed earthquakes and Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast, but it doesn’t stop there. One disaster that frequently accompanies the storm surge created by hurricanes and the accompanying heavy rains is floods. A flood occurs when water inundates or overflows land that is normally dry. This definition … More