Thursday, April 27, 2006

Out with FEMA, In with NPRA?

The recommendations are out for fixing FEMA. Like any good bipartisan committee, they recommend increasing the size of the government. The committee, lead by Senators Lieberman and Collins recommended re-creating the agency from scratch and giving it a budget twice as big as it is now.

I don’t think their recommendations are terrible. A strong case can be made for a more active Federal role during natural disasters, especially after watching every level of government blame each other last fall. Also, with catastrophic global climate change right in front of us, we can expect more active hurricane seasons like last year’s.

On the other hand, the recommendations might be a little excessive. One big step FEMA could take would be to appoint people with real emergency management experience, instead of using the post as a place for political patronage. President Bush and future administrations after him need to realize the importance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This means taking its warnings seriously and staffing it with the best and the brightest.