FEMA Thoughts from An Insider
I have a friend who has a housing inspection business and because of his experience at that he's qualified to do contract work for FEMA. As it happened I talked to him today and he's already been to Louisiana, although this week he's been working in Houston and Dallas (because he really can't look much at properties and the people are no longer there). He says that his understanding of the purpose of FEMA is nothing like what is being reported in the media.
Most FEMA employees are not intended to be rescuers (although they do have a search and rescue squad), and their purpose is not to handle ongoing emergencies, but to take care of folks after the emergency is over. They push a lot of paper around, and what they are very good at doing is getting checks to people. This is why they got generally solid marks last year during the hurricanes in Florida.
He said that we would see a turnaround in the way refugees thought of FEMA in the next week or so. He's been explaining to all his clients that the local government failed them and in general they seem to agree with him.