3 thoughts on “Another Take on the FEMA AAReport

  1. I arrived in PR the Saturday after Maria hit the island and remained at the San Juan Convention Center for the next 3 weeks. The problem wasn’t the FCO or the FEMA Administrator “banging on the White House door” but the terrible logistics of moving products for 3.5 million people from the mainland to an island, unloading at the port and then not moving inland at the necessary rate because the State lacked the political will to buck the trucking unions and allow the freight to be moved in non-union vehicles. The is only one of multiple examples of “why” that aren’t explored because blaming FEMA is the easy thing to do. FEMA was not resourced by Congress to handle this many disaster in a period of a few months.

  2. When a local and/or state government (or in Puerto Rico’s case, the territorial government) fails to provide even the most basic of functions or services during disasters, that forces FEMA to play the role of first responder and drains what limited federal resources that are available to address the emergency. It is clear that the government of Puerto Rico was ill prepared for the hurricane and as a result, much suffering took place and still is taking place.

    I am not a fan of FEMA or the federal government, but in this case, their storm response was adversely impacted by the inefficient and corrupt government of Puerto Rico. To illustrate, Brock Long previously stated, FEMA does not stand for the Federal “Electricity” Management Agency. Obvious FEMA’s challenges on the island where far beyond what is usually encountered after a hurricane. My question would be what was the local government doing to help themselves and FEMA with storm response and recovery? Apparently not much …. emergency management is local so when the local and/or state government fails during a time of need, it places an unfair burden on federal resources.

    Thought the after action report prepared by FEMA was brutally honest and it is refreshing that an agency of the federal government can be so forthcoming in the assessment of their performance, even when it does not place them in a favorable light. In this case, FEMA should be commended.

  3. Let’s not get sidetracked as to whether FEMA did or did not have the resources to deal with this disaster. The term “FCO” does not stand for “FEMA Coordinating Officer,” but rather for “Federal Coordinating Officer.” FEMA’s job includes mobilizing and coordinating the full force of the Federal Government as needed in a disaster. If FEMA’s internal resources aren’t enough to handle a particularly large incident, then the FEMA Administrator should be banging on the White House door ASAP demanding additional resources from across the spectrum of Federal agencies, civil and military alike. Did Mr. Long do this? And if so, how quickly after the disaster did he do it? What was Mr. Trump’s response?

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