FEMA Is Stretched Thin as Peak Hurricane Season Begins

Over the past several years, many Americans have felt the wrath of extreme weather.

People have lost their lives, their homes and their property. And some businesses have been temporarily shuttered or even shut down altogether.

Hurricanes including Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Florence have pummeled us. Tornadoes have ripped apart families and structures. Wildfires have left many homeless. Flooding has destroyed farms. And blizzards have left people stranded from closed roads and airports. The list is just endless.

It’s been a brutal few years and it only continues to get worse. Forecasters say the frequency and intensity of these extreme weather events is increasing.

Available Workforce Dwindling

And here’s the kicker. The one organization in the country that should be standing tall in all this is on its knees.

It exists for the sole purpose of protecting people from disasters. But it’s proven to be incapable of helping us.

Of course, I’m talking about FEMA. In 2017, only 55 percent of FEMA’s trained disaster work force was available to deal with emergencies.

If that isn’t bad enough, the percentage fell to 34 in 2018. This year? It was down to less than 25 percent of the workforce available to help Tropical Storm Barry victims.

Hurricane and Fire Season ‘Only Getting Started’

Elizabeth Zimmerman ran FEMA’s disaster operations during the Obama Administration.

She quoted: “I’m worried. It’s a particular concern given that the high season for hurricanes and forest fires is only getting started.”

Peter Gaynor is FEMA’s acting administrator. He recently told the House Committee on Homeland Security that his agency is short by 2,000 people.

On top of that, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now predicts that the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than normal this year. But more on that in a moment.

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

Even two years ago when FEMA had much more staff available, the agency wasn’t able to offer aid properly.

The Government Accountability Office declared that “FEMA’s available workforce was overwhelmed” in 2017. That’s when Harvey, Irma and Maria combined resulted in 3,167 deaths. And created $276 billion in damage.

And many of the people working for FEMA two years ago were not used in roles for which they’d been trained. So, they weren’t qualified which is just unacceptable.

Chris Currie leads the accountability office’s work on emergency management. He says, “They’re already stretched.” He’s concerned about what will happen if FEMA tries to deal with several cataclysmic disasters this year. Or even one major catastrophe.

Recovery Times Increasing

Why is FEMA running short of personnel? Because the number of disasters in this country is increasing. And just getting worse.

When Hurricane Harvey was flooding southeastern Texas, FEMA was dealing with 32 major disaster declarations. Today the number is 65.

Because today’s disasters are larger, more FEMA personnel are needed for longer periods of time.

FEMA still has some 2,400 employees working on Hurricane Maria recovery. That storm hit 24 months ago. And hundreds are still working on Hurricane Harvey relief.

This Year’s Hurricane Season ‘Upgraded’

Now, back to that revised NOAA hurricane season forecast. Early spring, NOAA reported that this year would most likely be a typical hurricane season for the U.S.

Until a couple weeks ago, when they announced that the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be “above normal.”

They are now forecasting 10 to 17 named storms. Estimating that two to four of the hurricanes will be Category 3 or stronger.

Gerry Bell is the prediction center’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster. He quoted: “We expect conditions to be more favorable for storm development through the rest of the season.”

The hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean usually reaches its peak in mid-September. But as Hurricane Dorian is quickly proving, it can be very strong during the weeks leading up to and after that point.

You Can’t Depend on Government

By its own admission, FEMA was unable to take care of people in a disaster two years ago. That’s when the agency had more employees and resources.

What are they going to do this year when they’re 2,000 people short? And next year? And the year after that?

Even previous FEMA director Brock Long admitted that it’s up to U.S. citizens to become self-reliant: “We have to make sure that we implement a true culture of preparedness within our citizenry. We don’t have it…

“It cannot be solely on the shoulders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

If it wasn’t obvious before, it certainly is now. You can’t depend on the government to help you in a crisis. And the next disaster could be right around the corner.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Patriotheadquarters.com loves free speech. But please be respectful and constructive. Our number one priority is to provide an environment where people can enjoy this website. We reserve the right to remove comments that violate our terms and conditions. http://www.patriotheadquarters.com/terms-conditions/

For any order status questions/comments please email us at [email protected] or visit our "Contact Us" page.
Contact Us| Terms & Conditions| Privacy Policy
Information contained on PatriotHeadquarters.com such as text, graphics, images and other materials are for educational use only. Although not guaranteed, every attempt has been made for accuracy. The information contained on PatriotHeadquarters.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or service. If you have any concerns or concerns about potential risks with implementing the information on PatriotHeadquarters.com, you should contact a registered professional for assistance and advice as is necessary to safely and properly complete any implementation. We may be a compensated affiliate for some of the services and products we introduce you to. We only introduce you to services and products that we have researched and believe have value.