• Understanding the nature of the problem

    by  • September 22, 2007 • Hexayurt, The Global Picture • 0 Comments

    [On the National Response Plan]

    “Where’s the beef?” asked Baughman, who is Alabama’s emergency management chief. “I don’t have any problems with a framework . . . but it’s not a plan . . . and it’s not national. Who are we fooling here?”

    “Coordination between state and local governments and the feds . . . seems to be getting worse rather than better,” said Timothy Manning, head of emergency management in New Mexico and a member of a DHS-appointed steering committee that initially worked on the emergency plan before being shut out of the deliberations in May.

    Testifying before a House panel last week, Ashwood and colleagues openly questioned why the draft was revised behind closed doors. The final document was to be released June 1, at the start of this year’s hurricane season.

    Federal officials, Ashwood said, appear to be trying to create a legalistic document to shield themselves from responsibility for future disasters and to shift blame to states. “It seems that the Katrina federal legacy is one of minimizing exposure for the next event and ensuring future focus is centered on state and local preparedness,” he said.

    Washington Post

    The simple truth of this is it is not ok, and it will not be ok unless something is done. The piece I did over on Treehugger about disaster response is one piece of the puzzle, and the study that Lugon pointed me at is another.

    It’s time for the people to accept responsibility for disaster response. It’s not reasonable to expect the government to get out of this snarl in time to provide effective cover. We just need to accept that it’s broken right now, that they’re trying to fix it, and until that outage resolves, we’d better find a new way.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


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