How the Bush Administration Crippled FEMA

If, like me, you are questioning why FEMA and the Bush administration is doing such a terrible job in responding fast enough to Katrina, you should read this article that came out last year that explains exactly how the Bush administration has effectively crippled FEMA by appointing unqualified directors and rolling it into the Department of Homeland Security.

Some FEMA veterans complained that Allbaugh had little experience in managing disasters, and the administration’s early initiatives did little to settle their concerns. The White House quickly launched a government-wide effort to privatize public services, including key elements of disaster management.”

In addition, the White House has pushed for privatization of essential government services, including disaster management, and merged FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security, where natural disaster programs are often sidelined by counterterrorism programs. Along the way, morale at FEMA has plummeted, and many of the agency’s most experienced personnel have left for work in other government agencies or private corporations.

Waugh says that recent hurricanes could serve as a wake-up call to highlight FEMA’s drift in priorities. “If you talk to FEMA people and emergency management people around the country, people have almost been hoping for a major natural disaster like a hurricane, just to remind DHS and the administration that there are other big things – even bigger things than Al Qaeda.

Final thought: If Katrina had happened last year, Bush would certainly not be President right now.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at September 3, 2005 02:24 PM