Saturday, September 03, 2005

Department of Homeland Security responsible for large scale disaster and emergency preparation

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.

I don't know about you, but the only info I've gotten on how to prepare my home for disaster or respond in a crisis is when they gave that advice about duct tape and plastic sheeting which was later discredited.

Think about it though. For every mayor and governor to also be an expert in disaster response and mitigation would be an unwise duplication of very difficult skills.

In a good administration it would work well to have a team of professionals that would persist from one administration to the next.

But if you select as your first Secretary of Homeland Security someone whose main skill is to be a good salesman, i.e. make the administration look good, and your next Secretary is chosen for being politically loyal to your extreme agenda, then you get the kind of disaster response to a major crisis that does not involve your 'base' as we are seeing in New Orleans.

The talking points about the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana being responsible for disaster mitigation in a calamity of this size are false. The fact is that the federal government is responsible for saving lives in a major disaster. Also see: Mike Brown makes clear the federal government's responsibility for disaster response. and New Orleans' emergency operations chief faults FEMA response (Or scroll down. Both articles are below if you are on the main page.)


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