Sunday, October 10, 2010

Again To Be or Not To Be--Whither goest FEMA--E.O. 12148

Executive Order 12148 was the ultimate fall back Presidential delegation to FEMA. My position is that the Homeland Security Act of 2002 replaced in its entirety Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 that was implemented by two Executive Orders specifically 12127 and 12148. Most important was the later.

The guts of E.O. 12148 as far as vesting or mandating a role for FEMA was the following language:


2-1. General.

2-101. The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

shall establish Federal policies for, and coordinate, all civil

defense and civil emergency planning, management, mitigation, and

assistance functions of Executive agencies.

2-102. The Director shall periodically review and evaluate the

civil defense and civil emergency functions of the Executive

agencies. In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of

those functions, the Director shall recommend to the President

alternative methods of providing Federal planning, management,

mitigation, and assistance.

2-103. The Director shall be responsible for the coordination of

efforts to promote dam safety, for the coordination of natural and

nuclear disaster warning systems, and for the coordination of

preparedness and planning to reduce the consequences of major

terrorist incidents.

2-104. The Director shall represent the President in working with

State and local governments and private sector to stimulate

vigorous participation in civil emergency preparedness, mitigation,

response, and recovery programs.

2-105. The Director shall provide an annual report to the

President for subsequent transmittal to the Congress on the

functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The report

shall assess the current overall state of effectiveness of Federal

civil defense and civil emergency functions, organizations,

resources, and systems and recommend measures to be taken to

improve planning, management, assistance, and relief by all levels

of government, the private sector, and volunteer organizations.

2-2. Implementation.

2-201. In executing the functions under this Order, the Director

shall develop policies which provide that all civil defense and

civil emergency functions, resources, and systems of Executive

agencies are:

(a) founded on the use of existing organizations, resources, and

systems to the maximum extent practicable;

(b) integrated effectively with organizations, resources, and

programs of State and local governments, the private sector and

volunteer organizations; and

(c) developed, tested and utilized to prepare for, mitigate,

respond to and recover from the effects on the population of all

forms of emergencies.

2-202. Assignments of civil emergency functions shall, whenever

possible, be based on extensions (under emergency conditions) of

the regular missions of the Executive agencies.

2-203. For purposes of this Order, ''civil emergency'' means any

accidental, natural, man-caused, or wartime emergency or threat

thereof, which causes or may cause substantial injury or harm to

the population or substantial damage to or loss of property.

2-204. In order that civil defense planning continues to be fully

compatible with the Nation's overall strategic policy, and in order

to maintain an effective link between strategic nuclear planning

and nuclear attack preparedness planning, the development of civil

defense policies and programs by the Director of the Federal

Emergency Management Agency shall be subject to oversight by the

Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.

2-205. To the extent authorized by law and within available

resources, the Secretary of Defense shall provide the Director of

the Federal Emergency Management Agency with support for civil

defense programs in the areas of program development and

administration, technical support, research, communications,

transportation, intelligence, and emergency operations.

2-206. All Executive agencies shall cooperate with and assist the

Director in the performance of his functions."

 Okay let's cut to the chase. If my position is incorrect than how are sections 2-204 and 2-205 currently implemented? Does this mean that because FEMA is supposedly all-hazards then NSC and DOD have oversight of domestic civil all-hazard preparedness, prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and
recovery whenever FEMA is involved? And does DOD provide support to DHS and FEMA for those programs, functions, and activities described in 2-205?

If this is the case then how exactly is FEMA, DOD and NSC organized to carry out the taskings described in E.O. !2148?

To ask the question is to answer it. While still cited by DHS/FEMA in many submissions to Congress including annual budget documents, there is nothing that supports the conclusion that either DOD, NSC, or FEMA pays any attention to these Presidential mandates. Perhaps a DHS/FEMA, DOD, NSC, meeting should be held to decide whether E.O. 12148, which also delegates the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and thus that delegation needs retention, E.O. 12148 should be otherwise repealed! Do the written orders of a President mean anything to anybody anymore?