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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Politicizing a disaster like superstorm Sandy borders on obscene’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

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freedomingood
provo, Utah

Disaster relief is allready handled at the state level. The generally start that "handling" with a call for help.

Then FEMA comes in and helps the govenor of the state that is "handling" the problem, usually overwhelmed and facing huge tax shortfalls due to the lax of business tax revenues.

Leaving states on thier own is a terrible idea. If anything they should pay a FEMA tax for living in a high risk area but it's conservatives that stop that kind of responsibility.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Sheesh. Do some research."

I did. Therein lies the problem.

FEMA's budget is $13.5B plus. It has more than 10K employees.

That's a $13.5B and 10K-person drain on money and resources available to respond to disasters, and merely duplicates efforts and resources available at state, county, and municipality emergency action centers.

It could be more aptly named the Department of Redundancy Department.

VST
Bountiful, UT

Au Contraire, to all you big Government believers that ONLY the Federal Government has the capacity to deal with a large-scale disaster that stretches from Phoenix to Yellowstone. That is poppy-cock that only that big government liberals continue to hang their hat on. Just because you believe it, without any supporting evidence, does not make it reality. Besides relief money (which can best be administered by the respective local governing entities), FEMA has no clue what the folks in Boston needs to recover, and likewise, FEMA has no clue what the folks in Atlantic City needs to recover.

Go ask all the private entrepreneurs along the Gulf Coast how well FEMA (and all their red-tape machines) took care of them after the massive oil spill two years ago? A large portion of them went out of business because they could not obtain relief money from FEMA in time to keep their businesses afloat. Ask Governor Jindal of Louisiana what he thinks about the response of FEMA and whether they were effective in their relief efforts? He was NOT pleased and expressed as much on more than one occasion.

glendenbg
Salt Lake City, UT

It's not politicizing things to see how the President handled a crisis. He has worked across the board with leaders of every political stripe to plan for and respond to Sandy. It's also not politicizing it to point out that candidate Romney has called for privatizing FEMA.

With Katrina 1800+ people died because the previous administration didn't place a premium on having a professional and competent FEMA. With Sandy, it hit the most densely populated part of the US evacuations were timely and relatively efficient and thus far the death toll is 70 people. That's what happens when resources are mobilized in a timely fashion. That's what happens when the administration values professionalism in disaster management.

It's a good time to have the conversation. Could state governments have handled Sandy on their own? No. Federal leveal coordination has been a key component of thus far successfully handling a sitaution that was the worst case scenario in almost every way. The Editorial board is trying to declar the topic off limits when it is timely and cogent.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "glendenbg" why couldn't state government have handled Sandy on their own? Do evacuation orders only come from the Federal government?

So far, the state and local officials are doing the majority of the work in New York, while FEMA sits around and fills out the paperwork to start getting things going.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

per LDS Liberal on 10/31 at 9:42a

If Willard got rid of FEMA what would happen to G Beck's concentration camps?

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

to Redshirt1701

"So far, the state and local officials are doing the majority of the work in New York, while FEMA sits around and fills out the paperwork to start getting things going."

Ideally, that is how it s/b... the Federal Gov't should act as an overseer/mediator in ***Interstate issues***.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Hank Pym" but FEMA isn't doing anything, that is the point. If FEMA does nothing, why do we need to keep funding it?

This isn't an interstate issue, this is a local issue. NY City is effected, but upstate New York isn't.

Again, how many people are being fed by FEMA filling out paper work before they can do anything?

The answer is none. People are being helped by private groups that are sending food in to churches and organizations that can distribute it to those in need.

Meanwhile the liberals in New York are running the New York marathon, taking the first responders away from those in need, and are using generators to power the clocks, instead of powering the gas stations. Doesn't that sound a lot like Rome, and providing the circus to entertain the people while they starve?

VST
Bountiful, UT

Power companies from all but one State (not directly impacted by Sandy) are sending line electricians and managers into the effected States to assist local power companies to get the lines back on the grid and power to all users. FEMA did NOT do that nor coordinate their efforts. It was done by the respective power companies in each participating state directly coordinating with power companies within the impacted Northeast. It is those local power companies in the Northeast that actually know where the need is and what materials are needed – not FEMA. There has been absolutely no need for FEMA to "oversee/mediate" so-called interstate issues.

Rocky Mountain Power of Utah is one of those that are sending in a team of 16 to 20 of their own workers to assist in the recovery.

This is just one example of why FEMA cannot do zilch in coordinating rescue efforts (the hands on dirty work) to assist immediate needs in any large-scale disaster area, let alone a smaller one.

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

@ Redshirt1701

"This isn't an interstate issue, this is a local issue. NY City is effected, but upstate New York isn't."

NJ was affected. Therefore, its an interstate issue.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Hank Pym" you are confusing multi-state with interstate. The problems that New York has are not causing problems for New Jersey.

There are multiple states with problems. Having trees down in Staton Island does not correlate to any problems in New Jersey.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"That's a $13.5B and 10K-person drain on money and resources available to respond to disasters, and merely duplicates efforts and resources available at state, county, and municipality emergency action centers."

really? Download the Utah state budget. It is available on line in an excel spreadsheet. Find the budget lines that that match up to what FEMA does..... give it a try. And the things you will find, like the National guard, Utah only funds 1/7th the cost of that. The rest is federal funds.

Agreed that Utah even if devastated is much smaller then New Jersey. Lets say the clean up bill were instead to 50 Billion, it were 8 billion. Find me an 8 billion dollar pot of money in the Utah budget that can cover this? The entire Utah budget is just 2 billion. Were talking cost multiples of the annual budgets of these states and cities.

The math just doesn't work. In national disasters, the nation needs to help because no state could do it alone.

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