Essay on Fema

4227 Words Nov 9th, 2011 17 Pages
Special Topics in Business

Introduction

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is responsible for coordinating the government’s role in preparation, prevention, response and recovery from domestic disaster, whether they be natural or man-made. FEMA.gov lists 1849 total disasters declared since 1953, with an average of 32 each year (13). This particular agency has generated a lot of praise and but just as much criticism. Over the course of FEMA’s history, there are many lessons to be learned and FEMA is always looking for ways to be more effective. This paper will examine the history of FEMA, evaluate its performance over the years and pinpoint lessons to be learned and actions to be taken.

History and Purpose of
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Now, DHS has to share its money with the department as a whole. FEMA’s funding comes from the President’s budget, but it is in direct competition with all of the other administration’s current interests, particular with its sister departments within DHS. FEMA often takes a backseat to terrorism. In the integration of FEMA into the DHS, FEMA had to contribute to the start-up costs of the new department, but unfortunately evidence suggests that the agency may have been made to pay a disproportionately higher amount than larger agencies. FEMA officials say this directly affected their levels of service in 2004 and 2005 (14). In the integration, FEMA lost some programs, but lost major ones as well (14). In 2005, plans continued to reduce FEMA. Director at the time, Michael Brown, wrote a memo in June expressing his concern about the agency’s future if the cuts continued (13). Perhaps the most ironic cut was the disaster planning exercise “Hurricane Pam.” This exercise, in which outlines a scenario where a disastrous hurricane hits New Orleans, leaving more than 100,000 people in the city, began a year before Katrina. The exercise was never finished because the Bush Administration cut funding (13). But it doesn’t look like FEMA is going anywhere. Inspector General Richard Skinner wrote a 2009 report in which he said, “Removing FEMA from DHS at this point would cause considerable upheaval, to both FEMA and the department.” (11)