The Pending Sequester and its Effects on FEMA


Among the issues that are bothersome in this field is the educated workforce Issue.  After we provide higher education in emergency management to a sizable number of people, and after those people gain employment in the appropriate jobs, budget cuts – for various reasons, some of which are ust political (e.g., sequester)  — result in a reduction of that skilled workforce.

This point was reinforced for me in the newly released GAO report on future risks, reported on in the Washington Post on Feb. 14:see Another GAO report says the U.S. government is facing a shortage of skilled workers. Some excerpts:

Shortages of employees with certain crucial skills and the pending loss of many experienced workers to retirement remain major management challenges for the government, although progress has been made in some areas, according to a report issued Thursday.What the Government Accountability Office has called “strategic human capital management” remains on its high-risk list, where it has been in every such biennial report since 2001.

“Addressing complex challenges such as disaster response, national and homeland security, and economic stability requires a high-quality federal workforce able to work seamlessly with other agencies, levels of government, and across sectors,” the report said.“However, current budget and long-term fiscal pressures, coupled with a potential wave of employee retirements that could produce gaps in leadership and institutional knowledge, threaten the government’s capacity to effectively address these and many other evolving, national issues,” it added.

The full text of the GAO report (34 pp) can be found here.



Here is one take on what mandatory cuts to FEMA would do to harm victims of H. Sandy, who have just begun to get needed relief from storm damage.


FULL EFFECTS OF SEQUESTER: More details about the economic risks are in this Report on Sequestration by House Appropriations Committee Democrats; Feb. 13, 2013. Full text of the 36 page report.

2 thoughts on “The Pending Sequester and its Effects on FEMA

  1. Are we producing too many emergency management and homeland security graduates with few job opportunities? Where are all the jobs? Maybe this is a regional concern instead of a national one.

    • I think the issue of supply and demand for professional EM workers already is a issue.
      If major cuts happen at DHS then the demand will drop off rather quickly. The supply side probably will be slow to adjust.

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