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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/13/18

Improving FEMA

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Message Harold Novikoff
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From Free photo Hurricane Devastation Natural Disaster Destruction
From Free photo Hurricane Devastation Natural Disaster Destruction
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As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolina/Virginia coast, we hold our breath in expectation of widespread destruction and losses on the order of last storm-season's devastation. FEMA's readiness and capacity to deal with relief efforts and the ubiquitous damage similar to that of last year's unusually intensive hurricanes is the subject of widespread concern and doubt.

This is not only a political issue for the Trump administration. The lingering effects of past hurricanes - Katrina, which overwhelmed Louisiana in 2005 and Sandy, which ravaged New York and much of the Northeast in 2012 - were never fully cleaned-up or compensated. And the people of Puerto Rico are still bailing out from last year's Hurricane Maria.

As the effects of global warming become more evident and undeniable, according to projections of increasing intensity of storms, among other major factors, it will become obvious that much greater physical, human, and financial resources will have to be dedicated to dealing with the situations. FEMA, as presently structured, will not be able to cope, especially with simultaneous disasters.

In other countries dealing with national disasters, the military plays a major role in carrying out relief efforts. To what extent the military may be involved, actually or potentially, in the operations of FEMA I do not know. But to be more fully capable to respond to these disasters, would require a reserve potential that only our military forces are ready to supply.

Our constitutional purpose is to insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, and to promote the general welfare, all of which would apply to natural disasters. Our military, as a means to these purposes, should be utilized in the work of FEMA. The military should be fully trained and prepared to participate in national disaster relief as a major reason for its existence. National security related to natural disasters should have a far higher priority than optional military operations serving the obscure interests of inner circles of government.

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Veteran, retired from several occupations (school teacher, technical writer, energy conservation business, etc.) long-time Sierra Club member

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