Dependency on Federal Grants – healthy or not?

Never one to be shy and retiring, fellow blogger Eric Holdman recently published this posting: “Emergency Management Dependencies; The feds have been too generous to us.”

Here are a couple of his observations:

I think perhaps we have lost our initiative to do things on our own. Although the federal grant funds in the form of homeland security grants has enabled us to do many wonderful things, we have become addicted to grants.

*** we’ve converted our state and local emergency management programs into federally funded organizations that can only do what the grant guidance allows. We have allowed the feds to assume what should be our responsibility as states, counties and cities to fund a basic public safety function — that being emergency management.

I am sure readers have a few thoughts and opinions on this topic.

The Diva would add that adhering to requirements of federal grants results in a change in thinking and vocabulary, both of which sometimes get in the way of dealing effectively with citizen groups and clients to be served.

2 thoughts on “Dependency on Federal Grants – healthy or not?

  1. I echo Eric’s post with a resounding AMEN! I would add the following to what Eric and the Diva have pointed out:

    I personally believe in the concept of public and private sectors working hand in hand with elected officials, business leaders, presidents of companies, heads of departments, first responders and citizens — all sharing the responsibility for the community’s public safety and welfare. This is a dream we have preached and taught for years. However, after spending billions of our tax dollars from the top down, the importance of being able to manage or prepare for disasters has gone over most people’s heads, including elected officials. But the feds keep pouring that money from the top into that funnel and expect to get different results by attempting some excitement over an occasional new brainchild program or an old one with a newly coined name that promises to change the outcome of the game.

    Emergency management is a multi-billion dollar industry that has little accountability and no metrics for proving we are prepared as a nation after all the money and program efforts. The greatest test will be when all the federal dollars dry up and we as communities and citizens face our addiction to federal grants and funding while experiencing the withdrawal pains of prioritizing and paying for what is truly necessary. My home town and yours will have to be creative and courageous in order to survive.

    We – states, local jurisdictions and citizens – believe government forces and resources will be there to pull us out of whatever the bad situation may be. This may or may not be true and is highly skeptical for the future. Let’s be very honest and tell folks that our best hope, and possibly our only hope, is having the wherewithal to take care of ourselves and look out for our neighbors.

    We are living in perilous times. It is high time for all American citizens to take survival and well-being as a personal and community responsibility.

    • It is ironic, but in my book Emergency Management; the American Experience, 1900-2010 we document how emergency management happened before the federal government got involved. And in the first half of the 20th century the picture was a lot like Avagene has described.

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