Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FEMA and the chart of DISASTER

I really really reaaaaallllly hate when people make completely crappy charts and use them in presentations or even worse on TV or websites. The Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA), one would imagine, would be immune to such crapulence, it seems they aren't.

I missed the boat on this one because it was discussed way back in 2005, and I only stumbled across it last night on the presentation zen blog archives, but the FEMA chart above is one of the funnier charts I have ever seen. The informative graphic was featured in their "what we do" section, and it seems that the stages include: response, recovery, mitigation, risk reduction, prevention, preparedness and then.... BACK to disaster, 'cus that's just what the good folks at FEMA do for the people, CREATE DISASTERS.

It is excusable when an 18 year old student comes up with something like this, but such an example of design crapulence from a US government agency is unbelievable!


jedimasterbooboo said...

"The Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA), one would imagine, would be immune to such crapulence, it seems they aren't."
Are you trying to be ironic, here? Do you know how many people were drown alive because of these %&(#(@&! They were put under the homeland security umbrella and funding was gutted, and Bush put "heckuva job brownie" in charge, of course after HK, he's gone now.

Anonymous said...

FEMA serves as a shining example of the fact that It simply doesn't matter how much you reorganize a dysfunctional Agency, or who is at the helm, it will still remain dysfunctional. Or, in the case of FEMA, continue to be grossly mis-managed by mid- and low-level bureaucrats whom have repeatedly demonstrated their individual and collective ineptitude and incompetence.

Despite what the vaunted Director and his media coverage mongering Deputy's would lead us to believe, there is absolutely no basis in fact for presuming that FEMA's is more capable today of managing a disaster than it was during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina. In reality, a glimpse at just one aspect of day-to-day operations indicates that exactly the opposite may very well be true.

FEMA, since taking over the National Preparedness Directorate that it fought so hard to gain control of since it's inception as the Office of Domestic Preparedness under DOJ and later, DHS, has once again demonstrated a propensity for being incapable of managing even the most mundane functions, leading to signifcant doubts that the Agency as it exists today would be any more capable of dealing with a large scale disaster than it was during Hurricane Katrina. Or, for that matter, even a small one.

Just one example of the continued dysfunction involves funding for many key programs operated under the auspices of FEMA NPD, all which was allocated when the Federal budget was finally passed earlier this year. To date, much of this allocated funding continues to languish as the office moves at glacial speed to complete the administrative process required to release the funding, leaving many State and local agencies without the means to continue with preparedness efforts or correct shortcomings and fill gaps identifed earlier under of these same yet-to-be-funded-for FY08 programs. In some cases, these delays in aid and assistance to State and local recipients have gone on for three, four and even five months.

Several of these awarded but as-of-yet unfunded programs have been described at various times by members of the Adminstration, Congress and FEMA's vaunted Diretor and Deputy Director's as "vital", "critical" and "the cornerstone of our nation's preparedness". If this is how the Agency handles high-profile, high priority programs aimed at aiding State and local governments prepare for the worst, it leaves little room for doubt regarding the Agency's capability to provide support in an emergency.

There is absolutely no need to wait or the next disaster to determine whether or not FEMA is capable of managing the next Katrina-esque disaster. As is evident today, the Agency is incapable of effectively managing it's day-to-day operations, regardless of how extensive a reorganization it has undergone or who is at the helm.