Response to Carine’s Forum Post
The main reason for the formation of FEMA was provide assistance to all citizens of the United States in case of a disaster as clearly defined by the Stafford act section 302. However, FEMA is also supposed to build on the government’s preparedness to manage disasters. The state and local grant assistance program have not always favored FEMA.
When catastrophic events occur, FEMA finds itself at loggerheads majorly due to its unpreparedness and financial constraints. However, years back, the organization was highly accused of misusing disaster management funds. For instance, when Florida was hit by Hurricane Frances in 2004, FEMA approved $21 million for 9,800 Miami-Dade applicants just to cater for property replacement and funeral expenses yet medical examiners had not recorded any death from Frances.
Congress has the power to control the functioning of any agency that has been created by law. This has worked to the advantage and disadvantage of FEMA. Its failures may have been caused by the close vigilance from the congress. The enabling act by which the agency was created sets limits that the agency must meet to ensure its continuity. However, FEMA should be given more freedom to fully explore its potential.
Separating FEMA from DHS increased its efficiency. If this had been done before, it would have greatly reduced the adverse effects of Hurricane Katrina that threatened to clear the US population. The malfunctioning of FEMA may not largely be attributed to the partisan nature of its heads. Lack of skills accounts for it. Its heads should not only be qualified but also experienced and be able to work with the provisions of the Stafford act to avert disasters.
Response to Bryan’s Forum Post
FEMA mobilizes federal and local agency to handle any disaster that Federal coordinating officer declares a national disaster. However, for FEMA to come in, it must receive an official invitation to offer the required help in the disaster stricken areas. FEMA does not provide luxurious goods or service aid to citizens. It only provides the required basic necessities to at list saves live and restore the dignity of humanity. It is therefore not necessary for the agency to follow all the rules or execute all the powers that have been outlined in the Stafford Act.
FEMA does not mainly lend their services and equipment to the state and local government. Rather, they deliver the equipment and services to the required spots. However, it may extend credit to various bodies so that they can easily and effectively respond to any disaster at hand. The agency has failed to provide warnings of risks and hazards mainly due to its inability to accurately predict. However, they have saved many lives by providing food, shelter, clothing and medical services during disasters.
Apparently, hurricane Katrina appears to be FEMA’s source of revolution and upgrading. However, the upgrading and revolution that has been witnessed in FEMA is due to the congress’ realization that disasters are becoming much unpredictable and unbearable. They then decided to restore FEMA leadership and place it on the hands of experienced individuals. The agency should account for pets and household service animals since they help in making life more enjoyable. The passing of the firearms bill by the congress was not to hinder the working of FEMA but to boost its working for the good of all Americans.
United States. FEMA. [Washington, D.C.]: Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2005.
United States. Stafford Act Reform Sharper Tools for a Smarter Recovery : Hearing Before the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, Second Session, May 12, 2010. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 2011.