Slow FEMA response, or no FEMA response? Which is better?

Harrisburg, Illinois was surprised to find out that after a devastating tornado disaster, Øbama’s FEMA would not be providing any monetary aid or relief services to the town.  Essentially, FEMA said that the damage wasn’t that bad and that the town and the state could muster up the recovery costs on their own:

“Based on our review of all of the information available, it has been determined that the damage was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the State, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies. Accordingly, we have determined that supplemental Federal assistance is not necessary,” according to the letter, of which obtained a copy. “Therefore, I must inform you that your request for a major disaster declaration is denied.”

Naturally the citizens were dumbfounded that such an total cataclysm wasn’t “sufficient” and that such a decision was rendered so quickly.  Senator Durbin was quick to criticize FEMA’s decision and vowed to appeal it.   Yes, this is the same Dick Durbin that demanded that Michael D. Brown, alleged perpetrator in the slow response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, be fired.  Let’s see if the rogues gallery of other cosigners will speak up as they did back then: Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Mikulski, Schumer, Salazar, Cheeks Kilpatrick,  Stabenow, and Reid.

Surely, no aid is worse than slow aid, and as we know, it was the slow responses of Mayor Nagin and then Gov. Kathleen Blanco that was mostly responsible for the debacle.

But it was Bush and Brown that ultimately took the political hit.

Let us hope, for the sake of the now homeless in Harriburg, Ill., that the Øbama administration reconsiders this unfortunate and ill considered decision.  Of course, this could be another opportunity for Øbama to “fly in and save the day”, but I am a cynic.   Let’s see what happens.

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A TEA party partisan, guerrilla fighting in the trenches of liberal Massachusetts.


  1. Plainvillian on March 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Possibilities:? 1 – Harrisburg, IL went for McCain.??? 2 – Obama knows he’ll carry Illinois in November.?? 3 – Both?

    • Lynn on March 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      That’s what I was thinking

  2. Open4FreeDebate on March 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    3 Just a bad decision so far. they obviously qualify for FEMA assistance.?

  3. PatRiot on March 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    – If the National Guard was here instead of overseas (illegally) help would have been there by now.
    – So… the taxpayers are paying FEMA to collect data and verify damage but not actually do anything?

  4. Truthseeker on March 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    FEMA has rules to determine when they give aid and when they don’t.? There is a “monetary damage threshold” ?that must be met or exceeded in order to receive aid from FEMA.? This threshold was set by Congress when FEMA was established by federal law.? Obama has nothing to do with the decision.? Let Durbin cry in his Lite Beer.? It is his party that broke the State of IL to the point they have no funds to help Harrisburg.

    • antiviceisavich on March 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Well written I totally agree with you.

    • Steve M on March 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Oh really? I’m going to venture a guess you have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ll happily retract my comment and apologize if you can point me to the regulations that stipulate a “monetary damage threshold” and detail how that is calculated. I did quite a bit of research on this subject when FEMA did not declare a Major Disaster for the 2011 Texas wildfires, while the federal government sent aid to Mexico for their wildfires during the same period. FEMA declared a Major Disaster in California when a tsunami wave hit in April last year, but I bet you didn’t even see any national coverage on that topic … any helicopter shots of an entire town destroyed?

      That said, I think the entire FEMA idea is a boondoggle riffe with problems from top to bottom, providing some bureaucrat the power to play “you win” and “you lose” in what can be often described as arbitrary decisions. (To make it clear, I’m not suggesting those who get wiped out during a fire or tornado win anything.)

    • zedgar2 on March 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Steve M – I found one reference to a FEMA threshold of $1 million but the article quotes FEMA as saying it is only a guideline: Interestingly, the article is about a declaration for the Vermont flodds last year with a damage estimate of $794,000 versus an estimate I saw for Harrisburg, IL of $3 million.? But I agree with you?that FEMA is largely an arbitrary political boondoggle. I wouldn’t totally scrap it but would?restrict it to truly very large scale ($500 million +) regional and national disasters.

    • Truthseeker on March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Thank you for?linking that article zedgar.? From personal exerience, I knew there was a threshold, but was unaware of the ability of the President to override the? decision.? It seems that is the reason FEMA is now broke and unable to help the Harrisburg community.? But don’t worry, the gov’mint will just borrow mo’ money from China.

    • Truthseeker on March 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks for your response Steve.? I learned of the FEMA thresholds as a career emlpoyee for the IL DOT.? IDOT is a first line emergency responder for the State.
      I went to the FEMA wesite searched for “monetary threshold for asssistance.”? There were multiple references and cross links that popped up, but I got a headache trying to read through them all.? It seems there are threshold for just about every type of disaster.???I also found that based on the request of the state Governor(s), the President?may “declare” a national disaster (and we currently have an inept Democrat Gov.)
      Also know you?never need to apologize for contradicting my posts, right or wrong.? Contradictions only prompt me to do research and seek the truth.

  5. GdavidH on March 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Alot of new?lefty trolls since Crystal4 was dismissed. Must be campaign season for Obummer.

    Just sayin’?

  6. ricbee on March 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I’m with Steve here-but will predict that Obama will get the decision reversed with much fanfare.

    • Lynn on March 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Cynical me agrees. Never waste an opportunity to grandstand.

HARRISBURG, IL - FEBRUARY 29:  Josh Summers searches for his possessions after a tornado ripped through his neighborhood in the early morning hours of February, 29, 2012 in Harrisburg, Illinois. According to reports, at least nine people have died in tornadoes across the Midwest.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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