Why we should not pull FEMA out of Homeland Security (1 Viewer)

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CPanther95

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A lot of the talking heads are yapping about returning FEMA to a cabinet level position independent of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

While I believe any blame or criticism for the crappy handling of Katrina should be distributed most heavily at the local level and it should diminish as you move up the bureaucratic ladder - it's pretty clear that FEMA's response needs some serious work.

Some claim that the problem is that FEMA has been re-tasked to deal with terrorism instead of natural disasters. However, the Katrina aftermath is very much similar to the type of situation we need to deal with in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack. If anything, the advanced warning and the absence of any NBC materials makes it less complex than what they should be prepared to handle effectively.

The last thing we need is more inter-departmental bureaucracy. Homeland Security was setup to coordinate all intel and assets needed to protect the US and to respond to any threat or aftermath. We should expect them to use Katrina as a baseline scenario and be able to respond to even more complex scenarios that may include other potential complications that may arise from a terrorist attack. Moving FEMA with a focus on natural disaster response will only result in Katrina being the benchmark for performance.

We're gonna have one hell of a learning curve if we have to learn every single lesson the hard way.
 

riffjim4069

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You bring up some very good points. While I can't comment on FEMA, you can rest assured these issues are being actively addressed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). IMO, FEMA plays an important role in helping the DHS protect, detect and react to any national crisis.
 

CPanther95

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I guess my main concern is after seeing the result of the cumbersome local, state and federal interaction (legally mandated) - the last thing we should do is segment the process even more. It may make another Katrina situation more efficient, but an evacuation from a biological or chemical attack or accident would result in a federal response that is hampered by two completely different departments trying to coordinate their activities on the fly. Something no government agency is very adept at.
 

Van

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Well I had heard today that the head of fema has no background in disaster preparedness and that he used to be the head of the arabian horse association and left it under some serious controversy.
 

EEJay

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Yes, the head of FEMA was previously involved in an Arabian horse company. What they did, I don't know, but he was "asked" to resign, so you know he was screwing things up there.

The previous, outgoing, FEMA director is this Brown guy's buddy. He nominated him to head FEMA and went to work for a company that solicits government contracts. Gee, I wonder how he's gonna get those contracts with his college buddy "running" things at FEMA, the guy who somewhat owes him for his job in the first place.

This Bullsh!t good-ol-boy system of back-scratching in government has got to stop. They work for us.
 

CPanther95

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EEJay said:
This Bullsh!t good-ol-boy system of back-scratching in government has got to stop. They work for us.

If you figure out how to do that, let me know - I'll buy you a beer.
 

EEJay

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CPanther95 said:
If you figure out how to do that, let me know - I'll buy you a beer.
Yeah, we need one after our, uh, "discussion" over the weekend.
 

CPanther95

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If people wouldn't blindly follow their political parties (which are MUCH more alike than they are different) we might actually see a change for the better.
 

vurbano

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I dont think FEMA should be seperated from the homeland security dept. As many have cited its response tasks are the same wether terrorism or natural disaster. What needs to be done is to find a way for it to run more seemlessly and eliminate the road blocks of having to ask permission from all of the different parties to do things. That simply wastes time. The president as well. I read that he urged the governor to either delcare a state of emergency or to evacuate (one of the two) and she had to sleep on it! These time waster items need to be eliminated. Maybe lessen the governors power if the president wants to do something like that then give him the authority. No papers should have to be signed while people are dying :rolleyes: Also if you want this situation to change then you come down HARD on this governor and mayor. Get rid of them and I bet the next governor wont have to "sleep" on anything and 200 busses wont be sitting flooded and unused while dead bodies float. The mayor gave a speech asking people to leave. Im sorry but thats not enough. You drive the busses and police cars down the street and scare them into leaving as they do here. When they refuse you hand them a sharpie and ask them to write their names on their arms so they can be identified when they are killed. And you mark the door then and there. 99% of the time they will leave.
 

vurbano

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WHen we fire Brown is that when we prosecute Janet Reno for Waco? She was on vacation during that wasnt she?
 

raymo721

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Saw on ABC news last nite that alot of the FEMA people including the Pres. of their union were telling FEMA's Brown that what they had planed for the reaction to Katrina was not enough. IMHO when the levys did not fail initally, everyone relaxed and were caught off guard when they did fail. I think even some of the aid that might have been on its way was cancelled at that time and had to be resarted again which took way to much time. At any rate, Browns head won't roll cause Bush has already said he's done a good job. Something about fireing the person who "leaked" info about a CIA op comes to mind, and I'm a Republican but I vote my concience not along party lines.--Ray
 
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