Monday, September 05, 2005

Self-deployment Into a Disaster

I'm reading a lot of posts in the blogosphere about how fucked up FEMA and other agencies are. A common thread seems to be that FEMA is screwed up because resources are being turned away. Most of these resources seem to be good-meaning people who self-deployed to the disaster. If you do this, you will be turned away...for good reason.

- Who the hell are you? Are you qualified to work in a disaster? Who is liable for you? Are resources going to be consumed rescueing your ass because you got into a situation where you didn't belong?

- How do you know you're needed? How do you know where you're needed? So your bus got turned away from the Superdome. I guess the multiple turns of military transportation aircraft out of NOLA airport weren't enough. But, you might have been needed in Miss.

If you want to go, then contact you local emergency management organization or a volunteer group. If you're not qualified, join a volunteer organization and get some training for next time. If you're a qualified responder, check with your department, they'll know what to do.

Self-deployment is usually a bad idea. There is a system in place for a reason.


At September 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can you only find statements of the bleeding obvious in places like this and their exact opposite whenever a certain class of politician steps up to the main-stream media mic?

I hope that part of the positive fallout from the current disaster is an at least incremental improvement in the general level of preparedness education.


At September 09, 2005, Anonymous Ed said...

Sorry to have to disagree with you, Kris, but here is an example of when it IS a good idea to self-deploy: when you have an 83-year old widowed mother living by herself in the middle of the disaster area.

I may not be a professional emergency responder, but I had plenty of OJT as a result of living through (literally...I was too stupid to evacuate) and after what was, up to now, the mother-of-all-hurricanes, Hurricane Camille in August, 1969.

The first FEMA guys I saw after a week on the Gulf Coast were at the Jackson, MS airport picking up their rental car as I was turning mine in to return to Utah yesterday (10 days after the hurricane).


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