Monday, November 22, 2010


Trying to seperate wheat from chaff [and maybe not succeeding but still have to try].

My point with this blog post is to indicate fundamental unresolved policy issues that hinder FEMA from performing in accordance with the expectations of Congress, the President, and the citizens and residents of the United States. Since there will always be another catastrophic event, timing unknown, resolution of these policy issues would help make sure that any recriminations about FEMA performance, efficieny, and effectiveness are grounded in understanding and support for the decided FEMA mission not some unreasoning expectation that a small underfunded understaffed agency can do miracles post incident and event to make all better. So some may disagree with the ranking of these but here are my top ten.

(1) Determine whether Executive Order 12148 has been superseded by operation of law in whole or in part. This includes the portion giving oversight of FEMA programs by the NSC and DOD.

(2) Determine whether FEMA is to be the saftey net for other agencies and departments that fail to do their EM jobs either on an emergency basis or on a day to day basis through their programs, functions, and activities.

(3) Determine whether the FCO reporting relationships should include the FEMA Regional Directors or not.

(4) Determine whether programs, functions, and activities requiring personnel security clearances and classification operated by FEMA (it lost SAP establishment authority under President Clinton] mesh with its overall objectives or detract from those objectives.

(5) Determine whether the FIRE SERVICE should have more of a say in overall FEMA programs, functions, and activities. For example, the National Response Framework could indicate the key sectors that would make for successfull response, and where exactly does the FIRE SERVICE fit in that response effort on a national basis.

(6) Determine whether all FEMA mitigation, prevention, protection and preparedness programs, functions and activities be under the same administrative authority. Why or why not this organizational arrangement?

(7) Determine whether FEMA should be equipped to review and determine the adequacy of the technical response agencies in protecting the public health and safety? Are these organizations properly providing warning and alerting to hazards to the public?

(8) Determine when and how FEMA should ensure STATE and their local governments capability, and if that does not exist what should FEMA be required to do? See for example, E.O. 12657 of November 1988.

(9) Should FEMA become an all-hazards agency in its programs, functions, and activities? If so how should that be accomplished?

(10)Should FEMA be administerd on a non-partisan, bi-partisand basis with a lengthy term of office for its Adminstrator?

Many will have their own lists but for the time being you have mine!