Tag: Disaster Relief

“Who you gonna call?” (for disaster relief)

helicopter rescuing survivor

Our usual emphasis is on individual preparedness.

This morning I took stock of the emergency supplies Joe and I have. With the exception of extra batteries, I was pretty well satisfied. Yesterday, a new neighbor announced that she had not only added 2 more gallons of water to her stash but also signed up for an earthquake alert. Our usual emphasis is on this type of individual preparedness. I hope Emergency Plan Guide inspires that in you, too!

At the same time, if you’re aware at all, you know that some emergencies are simply beyond the power of the individual to cope with. Consider the recent fire in Maui. The earthquake in Morocco and the flood in Libya. Horrific loss of life. Widespread damage. Continuing pain and suffering.

In cases like these, organized disaster relief is essential to nearly any recovery.

In the United States, FEMA provides that relief on the part of the government. FEMA has representatives in every state, sending crews, supplies and administrative support, including cash, loans and grants, to victims, first responders and state, tribal and local governments.

Here’s the problem in the U.S. — FEMA is about to run out of money.

It’s just September, but we’ve already been dealt 23 separate billion-dollar weather disasters so far!

Moreover, we aren’t even halfway through the traditional hurricane season. The chart below gives you an idea of how September rates historically — and so, what we might expect.

Chart showing storms and hurricanes peaking in September

I actually just checked on the current outlook. The image below, from YouTube’s Mr. Weatherman (one day ago) shows Hurricanes Nigel and Ophelia heading our way!

Image showing hurricanes forming in Atlantic

So it’s pretty clear that if congress doesn’t reach agreement on a spending bill to re-fill the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, parts of the country affected by these approaching storms will NOT get the support they may have been expecting. In particular, FEMA may have to stop funding already planned and on-going repair and restoration projects, hazard mitigation initiatives, fire management strategies, etc. as well as pre-disaster resources.

If congress doesn’t reach agreement on a spending bill, Who you gonna call for disaster relief?

The cartoon at the top of this page is an exaggeration, of course. Saving and sustaining lives will always be at the top of the priority list for FEMA.

But we can’t take FEMA support for granted.

Unless Congress can get through its current chaos, the government is going to shut down. And that will mean, like the cartoon says, “Funding has run out.”

Preparedness has many facets. Keep an eye on this one.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team