November 5th, 2012
On October 24th, the news came that Sandy had been officially upgraded to a hurricane. The following day, the Washington Post reported that newly declared Hurricane Sandy had “experienced a stunning increase in size and intensity” overnight that had not been previously forecast. Throughout the week that followed, it became more and more apparent the hurricane could potentially make landfall on America’s densely populated East Coast. Sandy finally slammed ashore on the evening of October 29, the eye hitting just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
By October 30th, establishment media outlet The New York Times was already celebrating FEMA‘s ability to save the day. If anyone or anything should be prepared for such a disaster, it should be FEMA, right? Its acronym does, after all, stand for Federal Emergency Management Agency.
So why are stories coming out that FEMA failed to plan ahead on Hurricane Sandy, leaving millions of people without so much as fresh water?
FEMA knew for at least a week, as we all did, that this hurricane could be devastating, that millions could end up without power or basic necessities, and that a large portion of those people left in Sandy’s wake would be woefully unprepared and relying on the agency to come in and save them.
In reality, FEMA knew for over seven years what Sandy could do; if anything, Hurricane Katrina should have taught the agency a thing or two about preparation and providing disaster relief following a major hurricane.
In the 72 hours after Sandy ravaged the coast literally leaving millions in the dark without electricity, stories of unfolding social collapse spread, from martial law being declared in one New Jersey town, to state troopers being called in to monitor violence over the last remaining fuel at gas stations, to New York deploying over a thousand National Guard troops to prevent looting. The death toll has now risen to over 110.
While FEMA’s official Sandy webpage declares the “Federal Family” is continuing to “lean forward” to support response efforts (not coincidentally a throwback to Obama’s presidential campaign slogan), reports have come out that the agency is completely failing to live up to its promises yet again.
FEMA’s website alludes to supplies stored up across the country in case of a catastrophe. We know FEMA used taxpayer money to buy up $1 billion in storable food in 2011, for example. The presumption is this food would be used to provide relief to American disaster victims should the need arise.
Apparently FEMA’s food supply went elsewhere. While reports are coming out of unprepared, starving people actually dumpster diving in New York in Sandy’s wake, why are we just now seeing not one, but three FEMA solicitation requests on the FedBizOpps.gov website (here, here, and here) for a total of 4 million meals ready-to-eat to be delivered to New York and New Jersey this coming week?
The hurricane hit on Tuesday and the first solicitation for food didn’t even get posted until Friday, with the other two posted yesterday. In addition, why is Breitbart reporting that FEMA solicited for 2.3 million gallons of bottled water for which bidding was not set to close until November 3rd?
Hurricane Irene even hit the same area last year. Warning after warning after warning, and FEMA failed to prepare.
The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have been called the most powerful agencies within the U.S. government, with the power to turn the U.S. into a police state at any time. Big government isn’t here to save anyone.
Sadly, Sandy is turning into Katrina 2.0 and FEMA has zero excuse for its grand failure redux.
After Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard was similarly called in to break up looting and civil unrest among starving, desperate storm victims following FEMA’s slow disaster response time. Relief didn’t come for weeks, and some people died waiting for the agency to save them. Guns were confiscated from law-abiding owners on dry land. As Prison Planet previously reported, FEMA actually hindered relief in the wake of Katrina, reportedly cutting communication lines; turning away outside agency supplies such as three truckloads of bottled water and Coast Guard fuel deliveries; and commandeering buses that would’ve allowed some people to leave New Orleans, thus gaining total control over the situation.
What did FEMA do after it gained control? The agency packed tens of thousands of traumatized people inside the New Orleans Superdome like sardines, where reports of rape, violence, murder and suicide followed, including news that people who attempted to leave the Superdome were shot and killed.
The agency has proven its prime concern is not the well-being of American citizens but the well-being of the government itself.
As we’ve previously noted, only a small amount of the money allocated to FEMA goes to any actual disaster relief. The majority of FEMA’s funding is funneled into black ops and the Continuity of Government mandate. A 1992 Cox Newspaper Group study found that $243 million of FEMA’s budget in the prior decade went to disaster relief, while a whopping $2.9 billion went to black ops.
There’s a “Federal Family” all right; the majority of Americans simply aren’t a part of it.
FEMA’s FY2013 Congressional Justification report actually states the $789.12 million the agency is requesting “reflects FEMA’s priority to manage resources more effectively.” Really?
In 2006, the bipartisan Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs presented its findings on an investigation into the government’s response following Katrina entitled, “Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared”. The report broke down four major components that contributed to the failure:
1. Long-term warnings went unheeded and government officials neglected their duties to prepare for a forewarned catastrophe;
2. Government officials took insufficient actions or made poor decisions in the days immediately before and after landfall;
3. Systems on which officials relied on to support their response efforts failed; and
4. Government officials at all levels failed to provide effective leadership.
It’s now more than half a decade later: does any of this sound familiar?