Episode 38 S2-3
FEMA Camp and You
Without Land Ch 3
L. Douglas Hogan
L. Douglas Hogan has over 17 years in state government and over nine years experience as a part time police officer.
FEMA was setup in the 1960s. It was set up to be a relief assistance agency for natural disasters of massive proportions. Although, they are also given authority to provide assistance to the public for man made disasters as well, including economic disasters.
FEMA has a set of mystery procedures it employees when disaster strikes. It is clear that FEMA has set plans and procedures for handling disasters but unless you are a member of FEMA they are not commonly known. FEMA was integrated into homeland security in 2003. We all saw FEMA stumble during the Katrina hurricane in 2005. At least 1800 people died during that natural disaster. When the state requested assistance for specific items, FEMA requested charts and bar graphs to prove that the extra assistance was necessary while people died. FEMA often requires more information than other lower levels of government in order to go into action and by that time it may be too late. This is because FEMA would like lower levels of government to kick in first to handle disasters but it often makes their aid slow and difficult to receive when an agile response system is needed.
FEMA's authority has recently been enhanced to a scary level for anyone concerned with personal freedoms. FEMA's authority began to expand on July 15 of 1996. That is when Bill Clinton gave FEMA control over all branches of government except the executive branch in the event of an natural disaster. Then Barack Obama expanded its authority again in 2015 by signing an executive order that gave FEMA the authority to seize all the resources of the nation in order to respond to disaster scenarios.
What we can do to make FEMA the agile life saving agency it was originally intended to be? In police work there is a thing known as mutual aid. If a city is having an incident that requires additional police support, officers will respond from neighboring cities. This could be applied on a grander scale. For example, if California were to experience tsunamis Nevada would volunteer to send aid and house refugees.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"Nobody insults my wife or her mother and nobody...I mean nobody, looks at my daughter like that!"