The government’s role in emergency planning is a twisting and convoluted trail of paperwork and regulation that boggles my mind. At times, viewing the results of Katrina makes me wonder if there was any competence involved at all. From the seeming lack of transportation, even though there were dozens of public busses sitting unused, to the formaldehyde laced trailers evacuees were given to live in, I would say there was botched planning at all stages of the game.

Given the fact that the current administration has cut funds to cover disaster relief in some categories, and remained stagnant in others, I would say that the government’s ability to provide aid for disaster relief in this country will become iffy at best. Especially if multiple scenarios occur simultaneously in several parts of the country. Theoretically, FEMA has been tasked with the job of assessing situations and meting out aid as it deems necessary.

With the cuts and reduced spending in place, more of the burden gets placed upon the individual states, thereby raising taxes at the state level, while our elected officials down in DC crow about not raising taxes and cutting spending. Disasters will occur whether anyone can afford to pay for the cleanup and recovery or not.

So, where does that leave the government in the puzzle? Smack dab in the middle, tossing regulations around like a tossed salad, but with no cash to pay the tab, that’s where.

Generally, we can expect the government to do the things they usually do. This means that they will conduct studies and surveys, determining what mitigation projects must be undertaken and how they will be paid for. Planning and preparation will be made to respond where needed, and stockpiles of food and supplies will be maintained. But those supplies may not be able to be delivered where needed, when needed.

Beyond these figuratively simple processes, the government has a much broader role in preparedness than most people realize. Part of this reason is that there are many levels of government that become enrolled in the entire process. Usually, when we say government we are taking about the federal government. But the term government covers every level from your local town officials all the way up to the President. And every level has a different task to do. But they all intertwine into one strand of the same rope that can pull you to safety.

Most of this has to do with the level of funding involved in the recovery effort after a disaster has occurred. For instance, a state governor could declare a town a disaster area because of a cracked dam that had caused flooding, and state funds could be used to pay for the recovery. However, no federal funds would be available unless the President also declares that area a disaster area also.

Various agencies are involved with making a determination as to whether an area qualifies for disaster assistance. This process varies somewhat from state to state, but basically, a county of major town government official alerts, or requests from, the state emergency management office that a declaration of need exists and that a disaster has occurred. The state level authorities then meet with the governor and /or federal level officials such as FEMA.

These people then determine what level of funding is required to abate the disaster from a financial perspective, as well as what further aid is required, such as housing, food, Army Corp of Engineers involvement and so forth. But it all has to do with the financing of the process. Money. And that commodity is rapidly disappearing from our landscape.

Therefore we need to learn to solve our own problems when it comes to emergency management. We need to be prepared to take care of business when no one else can, or will. It is coming to that point, and we have no one but ourselves to blame for the situation we are in.

Credit is a good tool, as long as it is used as a tool in the right way. Far too often we abuse the offer of credit, loading up with things we really don’t need, but think it’s nice to have. The federal and state governments do the same thing. Outrageous welfare schemes and endless subsidies have sucked much blood from this nation’s economy, and it will be very painful for us as a nation to correct that flaw, but it must be done.

Therefore, plan on not getting any outside assistance from the government. You may get some, but I would tend to not try to rely on the possibility. Set up an appointment with your insurance agent and get the best possible coverage for your situation. Also, if you live in a flood plain area, get flood insurance. And then make plains to move. What in heck are you thinking, living in a flood plain?

Another thing you’ll want to watch with the government and their involvement with any disaster situation. Frequently you’ll find a tendency for them to completely forget about their constitutional duties, as well as your constitutional rights, both at the state and federal level. As we get closer and closer to the final chapter, you will see the government gaining more and more power, and situations that have created a widespread catastrophe, making communities uninhabitable will be used as tools to implement relocation policies under the guise of it being for your own good.

In some instances it may be a good idea, but not necessarily so. Use your brains and think about where you live. Is it safe? Is it free from chronic flooding, wildfires, earthquake activity, blizzards etc? If you now live in a place that tends to have a lot of problems, it would be wise to find a new home, even if you have to relocate to a new community. You can’t survive in a home that is six feet under water.

Let the government do what they want to do. Follow their rules and play the game. And when possible, hit the trail for higher, or safer ground. It would be a good idea to make sure you have enough ready cash to haul whatever few belongings you can immediately grab, and head to a relative or friend that can put you up for a few days when disaster hits. Many times an area will be quarantined or entry blocked to all people, even ones who own property in the disaster area. In that case you will not be able to get to your home anyways, so why risk your family by trying to return to a disaster area until things quiet done and remediation begins.

This has been another installment in the continuing series on why we should place preparedness at the forefront of our plans for the future. For more on preparedness and survival skills, please visit my radio show here:
Listen to D.l.soucy on Blog Talk Radio

  1. insurance says:

    hey,you have a great site here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info.It pretty much covers insurance related stuff. 🙂 (edited to remove unapproved advertising link)

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