Friend or not: The real facts about how FEMA is helping you
Before there was FEMA, more than 100 agencies helped the states when there were natural disasters. There was a need for a single entity to help people prepare and recover from disasters, acts of terrorism and other emergency situations.
That was the moment when Jimmy Carter signed an executive order that created FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency.
If you ever lived through a disaster, whether a hurricane, a severe storm and flooding or fire like in SoCal, you probably know that they are the ones that come with clean water, sleeping bags and safe places to relocate.
More, they offer permanent disaster assistance that includes help for you to pay for temporary housing, home repairs, uninsured and under-insured personal property losses.
So, how does FEMA help?
Maybe for some it’s hard to believe, but managing situations like these it’s not that easy. It’s a big project and if for a phenomenon like a hurricane it’s easy as we know what to expect, for others like tornadoes or earthquakes it’s more complicated.
For these FEMA has to be ready all the time.
Most of us that are used to survival and preparedness lifestyle know and understand the magnitude of a prepping process. It’s not easy for a family of 4 to take care of all details, imagine for millions.
In fact, they spend a lot of time and energy in promoting the idea of survival preparing with the help of ready.gov website and all the programs they are involved in.
FEMA is the one that made popular the concept of 72 hours survival by having a bug out bag. While they are not perfect, from my point of view, this strategy made extremely popular the idea to have a survival plan and BOL and not wait everything from the government.
Like many of us know, ultimately, it is up to EVERYONE OF US to be responsible for his/her safety.
These programs are a big help for those that weren’t preparing and faced the nature in the name of Irma or Harvey. More, they are a widely recognized source or information about disaster preparedness. You can find those info very fast, call them and they will provide you a starting point for making a plan.
Of course, the rest depends on you as you are the one that will face the danger and you must be ready to save you and your family.
Another important aspect is that the Recovery Directorate is meant to provide help and support to communities in rebuilding and returning to normal life. Reconstruction is not always easy and Disaster Survivor Assistance program tries to provide advice and information about how to access programs that will help toward recovery.
I heard a lot of stories about the aftermath, but we should not put them in front of any others. In several instances, however, they have been unprepared for disasters. And in several they have done a good job. In usual SHTF scenarios FEMA becomes overloaded and coordinating tends to be bad under the pressure.
In fact, FEMA employees mean well and don’t want to leave you behind or steal your resources.
What about the FEMA stockpiling?
I have a special respect for stockpiling and regarding FEMA this term is not in the way conspiracy theorists would have to believe.
These guys have long claimed that the federal agency has constructed concentration camps and makes massive stockpiling because they know “something big is going to happen”. In fact, large numbers of MREs and medical supplies are stockpiled in order to protect the American public if there is a public emergency.
There is a special group called Logistics Management Directorate that has the main task to deliver the resources in the right place at the right time in support of state and tribal territories.
Leaving these rumors behind, FEMA does play a huge part in U.S. disaster preparedness and response. And their stockpile will fit into the hands of everyone affected by any disasters in the future.
On the other hand the information they provide on the stockpiling list is a great starting point for people just getting into the prepping movement. Some of these are well-known for most of us, others are just forgotten.
So I make a short recap here of the main items FEMA tells you to stockpile:
- dust mask, though I would recommend a N-95 mask
- can opener; a knife can do the job also
- local maps; topographical map will be very useful
- NOAA Weather Radio
- medicines if any in your family needs it
- cash and other family documents
In the end, we should not pass over the fact that FEMA’s mission is to support the citizens and to ensure that all of them work, build and prepare for all kind of hazards they we may face.
Simple said, always make sure you have the minimum kit for emergency and remember that FEMA help will come, but first you must have a minimum for survival. In this way you will avoid the need to go to a temporary emergency FEMA camp and fulfill also the needs of your family.
You do not have to be a millionaire to garner a kit your family will need to survive a disaster. Even during a short-term disaster, any first aid is of big help. Help yourself, learn skills and FEMA help will be your friend.
photo (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)