Wednesday, August 31, 2005

FEMA. SKB and Underplanning

Tons of information about relief for victims of this week's Hurricane are concisely provided by R. Neal, aka SKB, at Facing South. Neal points out the valuable Jimmy Carter creation of FEMA in 1979.

"
President Carter's 1979 executive order merged many of the separate disaster-related responsibilities into a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Among other agencies, FEMA absorbed: the Federal Insurance Administration, the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, the National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program, the Federal Preparedness Agency of the General Services Administration and the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration activities from HUD. Civil defense responsibilities were also transferred to the new agency from the Defense Department's Defense Civil Preparedness Agency."

Much of FEMA today has been side-tracked by Homeland Security issues. However, how the coastlines of the South have never considered major storm damage in their lust for development is just sad. Other stories at Facing South show how Poverty is the constant theme in Southern Economic Development.

2 comments:

hotblueandleftish said...

There is some interesting insight into how FEMA has evolved from its original mission in the book by Tim Werner "Blank Check" the pentagons black budget.

Ollie North pops up in FEMA if that signifies anything. Should scare the hell outta ya.

Joe Powell said...

Also worth noting is how FEMAs control of emergency response systems is now in the hands of Homeland Security. Do we know consider weather/winds/floods a national security issue? Rather than improve the existing FEMA structure, we chucked it into H.S. and the problems are just low priorities being sacrificed for war funding.
As we are paying record prices for fuel, wonder if anyone thinks the U.S. should have done SOMETHING to protect oil refineries and gas distribution in the Gulf?