There is an outstanding column by Jonathan Walters of Governing.com discussing the state of FEMA and its performance during two recent major disasters. His commentary focuses on why there has not been a lot of mention of late about the Agency and its responses to these incidents and the important role that state and local governments play in working with FEMA.
For too long FEMA has been one of the primary kickballs of the media and political worlds. The sheer mention of their name draws derisive comments from political leaders and media pundits who have little to no understanding of what role the Agency plays in working with state and local response in planning, preparing and responding to a litany of emergencies. In fact, if you’re running for office (at any level or from either political party), a derisive comment about FEMA is a guaranteed applause line that will rally people to your cause and get you a great sound-bite for the newspapers and evening news broadcasts. I find such actions nauseating.
Political leaders and citizens are often are all too quick to point their fingers at FEMA for a range of things following a disaster but they often lack the backbone and courage to look themselves in the mirror and ask, “What could I have done to be better prepared?”
A funny thing often happens when you look in the mirror. You get to see who has responsibility for a range of things that can contribute to improved performance but as we all know and have observed, it’s a whole lot easier to blame someone else when things don’t go the way you want them.
Walter’s article does a great job in presenting today’s FEMA and I encourage you to give it a look. Jonathan Walters ‘gets it’ and I hope others are starting to ‘get it’ too.
If they do, imagine how much better prepared we will be as a nation and as a people.
FEMA Falls into Array by Jonathan Walters