Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Don't blame FEMA for disorganization...aim higher!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Don't blame FEMA for disorganization...aim higher!

I wish folks would stop blaming FEMA for the delays in rescue efforts.

FEMA does not have a bunch of permanent employees. It is the joint effort of a number of Federal agencies military and non-military, who provide the employees from their ranks to do everything from high-level coordination to ice distribution. Those agencies allow their folks to be trained, prepared and taken away from their jobs to deploy anywhere that FEMA is providing services.

Right now, lots of the folks who normally are deployed through FEMA are presently deployed somewhere else for 6 mo/1 year stints. THAT INCLUDES PEOPLE WHO ARE TRAINED AND EXPERIENCED AT COORDINATING EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS. That place is...you guessed it...Iraq/Afghanistan.

On top of that, we already had a hurricane this year that did some damage, though not anywhere near the levels of Katrina. However, some of the FEMA people have been deployed there.

Then, let's add one more piece...Bush's complete whacking of the Federal budget. Most of the Federal agencies have hiring freezes due to the pounding their budgets have taken as money is redirected to Iraq, so they can't allow for attrition (i.e...as people move on, retire, etc...they can't hire behind them). However, that doesn't mean that the agency workload has gone down in the least. As a matter of fact, ours is up through the roof. So, when we are already short-handed, THEN have folks deployed in Iraq and THEN FEMA desperately needs folks in New Orleans, it takes a few days for these already-stretched-thin agencies to do some juggling.

I've been watching FEMA work for ten years. They usually have folks there within 24 hours...AND THEY DID in New Orleans. However, the numbers they require to even make a dent are staggering.

One last thing, FEMA CANNOT MAKE A MOVE without top-level permission. There are folks here who have their bags packed and are ready to go, but they still don't know when and where they may be deployed. Normally, these folks would already be gone by now, so there is some major top-level SNAFU happening somewhere holding things up. Of course, safety is always a factor. However, there are plenty of places down there in Louisiana and Mississippi that could use the help and don't have any gunfire in the streets.

There are folks saying "quit picking on Bush" and maybe the point now is to get help to those poor folks. However, this country is going to eventually need a long discussion as to why such incompetence was displayed during the first several days and President Bush is one of the folks who will need to be answerable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Please visit and check them out if you have the time

MORE IMPORTANTLY . . .I have been watching the news about Hurricane Katrina as I am sure you have been too. My heart goes out to these people and I pray they get the assitance they need as fast as humanly possible.

What makes me sick are the emails I have been receiving over the past few days from people "claiming" to help. Maybe they are sincere maybe not. I don't know.

If You Want To Help The Hurricane Efforts

Here's two links to legitimate organizations to donate you money to if you want to help.

FEMA - http://www.fema.gov
Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org

Feel free to pass this message on to someone else.

Help someone and donate what you can today.

9/01/2005 6:58 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Last year in Florida, my co-workers who deployed there for FEMA told me stories about con-artists who dressed in red polo shirts (the Corps shirts are red polo shirts with the Army Corps of Engineers castle logo) and pretended to be part of the "blue roof" team (they Corps puts temporary tarp "blue roofs" on to keep the rain out until they got a real roof)...with a twist. They told the people they would have to pay them $100.00 in advance to get the roof.

People who hustle already desperate folks should be shot.

9/01/2005 9:06 PM  

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