Why FEMA is a failure:
Here’s what worries me most: “Pelosi said, adding that she is worried about Trump’s proposed cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in his fiscal year 2018 federal budget. “You can’t do that,” Pelosi said, adding that the issue will be on the table when Congress reconvenes in just a few days.”
With a $13.9 billion budget, FEMA is one of the most overpaid, under-capable organizations on the planet. People need WATER about everything else, yet FEMA utterly failed the people of New Orleans.
The Army and Army National Guard was primed and ready to begin delivering bottled water, trucked in ahead of the storm by Walmart, via Chinook helicopter before the winds died down.
They were told, “No. Stand down. Let FEMA handle it.”
In less than 3 days, Air Force personnel had landed at Moissant (New Orleans’ International Airport) and begun clearing the runways for subsequent deliveries of water, food, and medical supplies, as well as any number of volunteers. The runway was cleared by the 4th day.
They were told, “No. Stand down. Let FEMA handle it.”
On the 5th day after all winds had subsided, FEMA finally their crap together and begin delivering water in chincy civilian helicopters that couldn’t haul but about 800 lbs. A CH-47D Chinook hauls about 25,000 lbs. A C-130 can haul 45,000 lbs. A C-17 can haul 170,900 lbs. That’s 20,000 gallons of water, including dunnage and bottling. That’s enough for 5,000 people for 5 days.
The U.S. military was absolutely chomping at the bit to get water to the people. Instead we were watching them DIE of dehydration.
But no. They were told, “No. Stand down. Let FEMA handle it.”
Although President Trump recently appointed Brock Long, a well-qualified and experienced leader, he is grossly saddled and overburdened by laws created by Congress who think they know how to and need to legislate every contingency FEMA might encounter, and how he should respond.
The days of the old Civil Defense system were FAR more capable of responding to natural disasters. In fact, the “Cajun and Texan Navies” did PRECISELY what the old Civil Defense system was all about: Protecting and rescuing the people, from the lowest level on up. In 1954, the United States held its first nation-wide civil defense drill, where over 12 million Americans “died” in a mock nuclear attack.
It was a huge success.
The U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration was organized by Harry Truman on December 1, 1950 through Executive Order 10186, and became an official government agency via the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 on 12 January 1951. It’s gone through some changes, eventually arriving at FEMA.
The major problem with FEMA is that the mindset is mostly top-down. Yes, they do work with cities and states to help them develop their own disaster preparedness programs. However, is there any emphasis on including We the People in those programs like we did during the 1950s?
No. And therein lies the problem.
We the People are BY FAR your largest workforce in times of any disaster or emergency. Private citizens outnumber police, fire, and rescue by more than 1,000 to 1. The “professionals” can sweat the small stuff, everything from a house fire to an airliner crash, but they are absolutely, utterly overwhelmed when major disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, and forest fires sweep through inhabited areas.
We the People are your FIRST RESPONDERS, not police, fire, and rescue. When seconds count, We the People are there, while the second responders are minutes away. In large disasters, it’s more like hours, and even days away.
I’m not saying we don’t need police, fire, and rescue, along with local, county, state, and federal EM (emergency management) people. We absolutely do!
What I am saying is that if they’re focusing on using only paid personnel in their response force, their cutting their available resources by at least 90%.
Out of 325 million Americans, not everyone is well-suited for rescue work. In fact, most people aren’t. 24% of us are under 18, while 15.2% are 65 and older. That leaves 197,600,000 available American Adults.
Even so, if the ratio of We the People to PFR+EM is 1,000 to 1, but only 10% of We the People (19,760,000) have various types of rescue training management experience under emergency or combat conditions, then that’s still 100 to 1. But let’s say you’re wanting to ensure only the best of the best civilians augment your forces, that only 1% of We the People are capable of successfully augmenting professional Emergency Managers.
Then that select 1% of We the People STILL outnumber PFR+EM personnel by 10 to 1. That’s still 1.98 million highly skilled, well-trained augmentees available for use, and we live EVERYWHERE. We are in every town, city, county, and state in the union. I dare say there’s at least one of us in every neighborhood, or at least nearby.
Thus, PFR+EM personnel should make a concerted effort to identify and USE those augmentees during natural disasters.
But what happened during the Waldo Canyon Fire? Nothing. They evacuated everyone (sensible), but then posted guards at all entrances, keeping people out for days, and in some areas, weeks.
Not a very smart move. While I understand the concerns about looting, if you’d simply let everyone back in, we can defend ourselves, thank you very much.