Sunday, April 4, 2010

History Repeats To Some Degree

After Hurricane Hugo devasted the US VI (1989)and then S.Carolina many members of Congress thought FEMA functions should be transferred to DOD without the FEMA personnel included. Oddly the Loma Pieta Earthquake of 1989 did not result in the same Congressional effort. What was the difference? Principally CA was better prepared than either the US VI or S.Carolina. The FEMA performance seems tied to the performance of the STATE and Local governments. Therefore it would seem that FEMA charged often with reviewing STATE and LOCAL capability would be anxious to do so. Unfortunately, the STATE and LOCALs continue to prevent full accountability and assessment of their capabilities. An interesting academic research project would be the tracking of efforts by the federal government to document state and local capability. One highly technical area that is not really been explored but has been discussed in recent EM posts is the subject of decontamination of injured responders and the general public. What does appear to be the consensus is that this arena is not capable of being surged or operated successfully under current arrangements, and in particular with the decline of the public health system and medical catastrophes. Secretary DHS is apparently willing to document these deficiencies in the medical sector unlike the Secretary DHS with respect to STATE and Local governments.