Never underestimate the government’s ability to screw things up, right?
We already know FEMA completely botched Hurricane Katrina (and Rita and Harvey and Irma).
But what you may not know is why…
And what makes them so incompetent in these situations. I mean, really, do you have any reason to think they’ll be any better at handling a disaster that strikes near you?
Here are five things you absolutely NEED to know about what FEMA does in disasters — and, more importantly, what it doesn’t do…
1. FEMA’s Funds Aren’t Just for “Disasters” Anymore
FEMA used to be strictly for natural disaster relief and management. But like so much else, that changed on Sept. 11.
FEMA now focuses primarily on terrorism, alongside Homeland Security.
Why? No one knows.
No one can explain why funds that should have be available for people in real danger during hurricanes and other natural disasters are diverted to “fighting” terrorism.
FEMA has less money than ever before, because the government is covering how much it’s spending on Homeland Security by taking money from an agency that has nothing to do with terrorism.
Which means that agency doesn’t have the money to do its actual job.
2. FEMA Cuts Corners and Causes More Harm Than It Relieves
After these major hurricanes, FEMA put up trailers for people who had been displaced from their homes.
Sounds like a good thing, right?
That’s what you want your natural disaster relief organization to do.
Except the trailers had exceptionally high formaldehyde levels.
The Sierra Club warned FEMA about the problem, but they were ignored and FEMA continued to put displaced citizens in the trailers. This inflicted those people, who had already lost everything, with breathing trouble, constant headaches and nosebleeds.
3. FEMA Won’t Help You Get out of Harm’s Way
You probably heard on the news that a lot of people didn’t want to leave New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, even after they were told to evacuate.
That might seem downright stupid to you — why wouldn’t you get out if your life was in danger?
The answer? A lot of them COULDN’T get out.
FEMA didn’t provide transportation or funds for those who didn’t have their own vehicles to evacuate.
The vast majority of people stayed not because of stubbornness or stupidity but because FEMA gave them no way out.
4. FEMA Doesn’t Have the People It Needs Ready to Go
Ever been on a volunteer fire department or rescue team?
You get trained — and show up regularly to stay trained — so that whenever your services are needed, you know exactly what to do and how to help.
It’s how the National Guard works.
It’s how a lot of very effective forces that aren’t needed all the time work.
But it’s not how FEMA works.
FEMA doesn’t have people on standby.
They have to orchestrate a massive number of services, from search and rescue to waste disposal to food distribution to transport — and more — and the people they’re working with HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED BEFOREHAND.
They’re mostly cobbled together from local agencies, each of which knows how to do one small piece of the required disaster relief plan — and none of which knows how to do it in concert with a large number of other organizations.
Any way you look at it, it’s a logistics nightmare waiting to happen.
5. Even FEMA’s Survival Kit Advice Is DEADLY
If you go to FEMA’s website, they’ll tell you what you should have in your survival kit in case of disaster.
It’s ridiculously inadequate.
It will not help you survive a real disaster, and in fact, it may even get you killed by giving you a sense of false confidence.
For example, they don’t even mention having a means of evacuating your family or your supplies.
The items they do tell you to have are sufficient for a disaster that lasts a day or two at most — not a full-scale catastrophe.
Look, I can’t solve all the problems with FEMA.
But I CAN solve the problem of making sure you have your family’s survival kit ready to go when they need you the most…
Every survivalist needs to know what items to pack — and surprise! Not one of them is on FEMA’s worthless list of things to get.