Altho, I fear it will have about as much effect as it did for drug abuse.
The call by the Beltway Boys to replace FEMA with an even larger, more intrusive and powerful entity is:
A). Too Little, Too Late
B). A Giant Leap In The Wrong Direction
C). Pandering To Duh Masses
D). All Of The Above
We know all too well that the answer must be D. FEMA is just a highly visible and convenient symptom of the larger problem of a system of government which is broken beyond hope of repair. Calls from Congress to replace it with something that not only costs more, but which would be even more draconian in scope is ill advised, at best.
I have little hope that any politician will ever heed my words, but I will write them down anyway, just in case. As many people may know I am an ardent fan of the old Civil Defence System, primarily because it was run in a fashion that was intelligent, community based and.....it worked. The best move that the incompetents in DC could make would be to reinstitute the old Civil Defence program. As we saw in the days following Hurricane Katrina there was no order, even when the military was sent in. There was nothing even resembling a functional emergency infrastructure.
No supplies on hand, no foods, medicines or anything that would have helped Gulf Coast residents. Everything had to be sent to the area and even that took the government days to accomplish. Individuals and companies did more to aid in the immediate relief than the government. To this day FEMA is still sitting on trailers that could be used to shelter Gulf Coast residents and that is an unconscionable mismanagement on the part of...the government.
A return to an actual Civil Defence program would take a few years but it would mean that there would be supplies in place. There would be CD people in place during a disaster and they would be your neighbours, not some nameless drone from the government. Basic necessities, supplies and communications would be available from the first moments of a disaster and not days off. It would serve to foster a greater sense of community, once people became involved in the process.
Back in the day, we actually studied Civil Defence procedures. I recently re-acquired a hard copy of "In Time Of Emergency, A Citizen's Handbook On...Nuclear Attack...Natural Disasters", this is a book that my classmates and I were given at St. John Elementary in Gulfport, Mississippi, as part of our school work. (By real nuns armed with Irish temperament and yard sticks...brrrr...). Today's kids desperately need this as part of their curriculum and so do their parents. The helplessness of the victims of Katrina was due in large part to their having no knowledge of what to do or how to do it.
This can be remedied, folks. FEMA and a larger version of it are not the answer here. The answer lies in looking to the past for what works, not to some nebulous future that will inevitably be mismanaged by our Brobdignagian government where everyone needs a slice of the fiscal pie to feel good.
Rather than waste tax payer money on yet another unworkable mess like FEMA, let's put it into a renewed CD program that includes the communities it would serve. One which would serve to educate people on disaster preparedness (not the ludicrous plastic and duct tape crap, mind you) and foster community and business involvement. What Congress is proposing is yet another do-nothing expansion of government which will result in more misery and less freedom and safety for the people of this country. Just say no to FEMA and yes to a new Civil Defense program.
Congress, Bush, FEMA
Politics, Civil Defense, Libertarian, Hurricane Katrina