For just shy of 40 years now, FEMA has been the federal government’s showcase agency for dealing with all sorts of tragedies. Even with almost four decades of experience, it looks like FEMA still hasn’t figured out how to do their job. From Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Maria, we keep hearing over and over again, just how poor a job FEMA does in providing emergency relief.
In a way, that shouldn’t be all that surprising. FEMA is a government agency, and like all government agencies, it is mostly bureaucratic. As such, they are great at bringing red tape into any situation, to go along with the money they pass out. But the red tape doesn’t keep people eating; provide clean water on time or help ensure adequate medical services to deal with the injuries and disease that often follow in the wake of any disaster.
Government Red Tape
But perhaps we’ve been looking at FEMA wrong all these years. Rather than expecting FEMA to do what we need them to do, we should look at what they excel at doing (that red tape) and forget about the idea of them ever succeeding at doing anything else.
Let’s face it; the government is inept at helping people survive and recover from a disaster. This much is obvious. The idea that they would be anything but is more than just a little bit unrealistic, as it is rare for a government to make things better. For the most part, all government is good at doing is preventing the people who do things from doing them as well, by trying to take control of the situation with regulations, harassment, and threats.
Even when FEMA does bring in relief supplies, it is usually late. Like any bureaucracy, it takes them time to react. But for the people on the ground who need water to drink and food to eat, time is a luxury they don’t have. They need help immediately, not when the government gets around to it.
Start Helping Yourself
Besides, where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government is the national babysitting service? Where does it say that we are supposed to be able to rely on it to meet our every need? I can’t even find the part where it says that the federal government is supposed to help pay for rebuilding our lives when tragedy befalls us. No, that’s our job, we the people, not the governments.
This is why it is foolish for any of us to trust the federal government to help us out in a time of crisis. If we are going to survive a catastrophe, it won’t be because the government does such an excellent job of taking care of us, but because we know how to take care of ourselves.
The Church and Non-Profits Do It Better
Yes, there is a place for us to help one another out. The church and other non-profit organizations do that quite well. They are usually the first ones to arrive after a disaster, bringing the food, water, and clothing that people need. They help people clean up the mess and rebuild their homes. People caring for each other and helping each other out, just like people have done since the beginning of time.
But that doesn’t mean that we should always plan on those people being there for us. Rather, we should be ready to take care of our families needs, even without them. That way, we can give thanks when they come, but we can survive just fine when they don’t.
There are two basic things that we need to do, so that we are ready to survive, even without this help. The first is to have the necessary knowledge to function without our modern day conveniences and the second is to have the necessary supplies on hand to meet our needs. Between these two, our families should be just fine, unlike those who will be sitting on their hands, waiting for FEMA to arrive.
Learning New Skills
When I’m talking about skills here, I’m talking about the kinds of skills that children used to learn in the Boy Scouts; basic woodcraft skills. If you know how to go camping, without a camper, you probably have the skills you need. Just make sure you have the tools to practice those skills as well.
When it comes to supplies, you are going to need food and water more than anything. The easiest way to get this is to buy an emergency kit which is large enough for your family. This not only will provide you with enough food and water, but also with other essential gear, like fire starters. You can expand on this sort of kit by adding an additional emergency food kits, providing more days worth of food.