Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who Is Craig Fugate?

File this under "Only Nixon Could Go To China". Craig Fugate is the Obama appointed head of FEMA. If Michael Brown said this after Katrina he would have been drawn and quartered. From The Atlantic (emphasis added):

“We need to change behavior in this country,” he told about 400 emergency-management instructors at a conference in June, lambasting the “government-centric” approach to disasters. He learned a perverse lesson in Florida: the more the federal government does in routine emergencies, the greater the odds of catastrophic failure in a big disaster. “It’s like a Chinese finger trap,” he told me last spring, as a hailstorm fittingly raged outside his office. If the feds do more, the public, along with state and local officials, do less. They come to expect ice and water in 24 hours and full reimbursement for sodden carpets. But as part of a federal system, FEMA is designed to defer to state and local officials. If another Katrina hits, and the locals are overwhelmed, a full-strength federal response will inevitably take time. People who need help the most—the elderly, the disabled, and the poor—may not get it fast enough."

I have to say I like this guy and the self sufficiency he stands for - because during the next big disaster he's going to need help - from you:

To avoid “system collapse,” as he puts it, Fugate insists that the government must draft the public. “We tend to look at the public as a liability. [But] who is going to be the fastest responder when your house falls on your head? Your neighbor.” He criticizes the media for “celebrating” people who choose not to evacuate and then have to be rescued on live TV—while ignoring all the people who were prepared. “This is a tragedy, this whole Shakespearean circle we’re in. You never hear the media say, ‘Hey, you’re putting this rescue worker in danger.’”

It seems Mr. Fugate watched what happened right after 9/11 when people were still being dragged out of the rubble. Or how the ferry boat captains and others immediately organized to rescue the airplane passengers and crew that crash landed in the Hudson River. For the most part this is how we Americans roll. You do what needs to be done because most of us sure don't sit around waiting for the government to do it for us.

Besides, I've been looking for a reason to post this video.

H/T TigerHawk

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