FEMA ain't ready

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I have just reviewed the quarterly report by the "Office of Management and Budget" (OMB) www.cio.fed.gov/y2k4q.htm made on2/15/98.

FEMA, who is supposed to administrate all of the Executive Orders is the lowest scoring federal office in the whole alphabet soup of bureaucrocies in regards to remediation.

If we are destined to be ruled by fiat, I would feel better if the rulers were better prepared.

In case you are not aware, "FEMA" is supposed to coordinate all police, fire fighting, national guard and related functions in times of emergency.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), April 23, 1998


Bill writes, "If we are destined to be ruled by fiat, I would feel better if the rulers were better prepared." Which "rulers" would you feel better about if they were "better prepared"?

See the New York Times, Sunday, April, 26, on page one "US Fails Excercise-Simultaneous Strike by Germ Weapon" www.nytimes.com/ requires free registrartion.

More and more the Clinton Administration is beating the Terrorist Drum to move toward more appropriations and institutional restructuring to handle "national emergencies". The goal of two new Presidential Decision Directives - 62 & 63 - is to "enhance the country's ability to prevent chemical, biological, or CYBER-WEAPON [emphasis added] attacks, and if deterrence fails, to respond more effectively to the mayhem."

"Administration officials said the scenario was purposely intended to inflict a substantial disaster so as to stress the system and reveal weakness in emergency preparedness."

"Federal quarantine laws turned out to be too antiquated to deal with the crisis, and almost no state had serious plans for how to take care of the people it had isolated."

"President Clinton's deepening interest in such potential threats, aides said, led him to request a briefing by a panel of experts this month on teh genetic engineering of bilogical weapons and RELATED ISSUES [emphasis aded]"

A new position of "national coordinator", specifically not to called "the terrorist czar", has been created in the White House "to strenghthen efforts to foil terrorists intent on killing Americans or destroying the nation's CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE [EMPHASIS ADDED] - the maze of private and public institutions that provide power, money, water, transportaion, communications, and health services." The position is likely to go to Richard A. Clarke, now Clinton's special assistant for global affairs. (Global Affairs? not Domestic Affairs?)

Y2K might have almost identical impacts, so whatever the source of a future national emergency may be, the emergency preparedness institutioanl infrastruture is being upgraded.

So rest well, the plans for national emergency response, with Federal Armed Services and National Guard and local police forces now in process of preparing for integrated response to any impact from "weapons of mass destruction" or other RELATED ISSUES, will mean that any declaration of martial law in the next Presidential Election Year will most likely be in place if "Our Rulers" see the need [note I did not say 'opportunity'] to impose order to insure public safety.

-- victor Porlier (vporlier@aol.com), April 26, 1998.

You might want to read the Millenium Bug - Gateway to a Cashless Society by Mark Ludwig FEMA is scary -- it gives the President the authority to overthrow our Constitution and institute Marshall law. I am moving out of the country.

-- Lorraine Katena (rhinowoman@webtv.net), May 07, 1998.

In addition to being a programmer working on Y2k issues in the insurance industry, I am a volunteer firefighter (rank = LT, certified Firefighter II, 18 years experience in TX and CT).

I recently attended a new FEMA seminar on "Response to Terrorist Incidents", which is intended to raise the level of awareness of _local responding agencies_ such as fire, police, EMS, of the potential for the cause of a disaster to be something other than accidental. For instance, the fire service sets up an incident command system upon arrival at the scene. Part of the system requires that the Incident Commander be clearly identified, which has spawned a sub-industry to supply bright orange vests so everyone knows who is in charge. BUT-- if this is a terrorist incident, guess who the first person to be picked off by the sniper two blocks away on the roof will be....

But I digress. Yes, FEMA and the FBI _will_ be in charge of a terrorist incident/large scale disaster, but until they arrive on scene its up to the local first responders to handle the crisis.

If wide-scale disruptions occur to power, communications, transportation, etc I think you can bet on the local services responding -- but FEMA will not be in the picture. They are set up to assemble a team and descend upon _a_ disaster, or at most several disasters at once. When the problem is _everywhere_, when the infrastructure is down, don't count of the Feds showing up in your town to help. Count on your local police, EMS, fire dept, town maintenance dept, disaster relief agency, whoever -- to do what they can.

Speaking for myself, I would be extremely surprised FEMA showed up in my town in January 2000 to lend a hand.

A buddy in California tells me that Y2K is getting a lot of press, and the word is out to prepare for Y2K the same way you would for a major earthquake. Stock up on supplies ahead of time, be prepared for power outages and infrastructure problems. Here in Connecticut, I imagine people should prepare as they normally do for a _Nor'easter_ which buries the state in snow, closes roads, downs power/phone lines -- about the same impact as I expect from Y2K infrastructure problems.

So -- be prepared (yes, I was an Eagle Scout) to take care of yourself and your neighbors. If you are really concerned, check out local disaster relief organizations and volunteer with them _now_. I consider being a firefighter is a tremendous advantage in time of disaster -- yes, its dirty work, but the fire service takes care of its own...

-- Jim Vangunten (jvangun@ibm.net), June 30, 1998.


I am sure that much has changed since I was in law enforcement in LA. One thing does not change however and that is human nature. We agree that most likely, FEMA will not be able to mobilize if there is no communication or electric power. Local fire and police will be the first on the scene. My question is, how long will they be on the scene if there families are in danger and there are no paychecks? When I was pretending to be the "White Knight" down in the ghetto, my family was 35 miles away and safe. My paycheck included enough overtime for me to buy 1/2 of a new car. I honestly don't know how brave I could be if I feared for my family.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), July 06, 1998.

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