Michael Schaus

It might seem laughable that FEMA – the Federal organization that eventually melted over $12.5 million worth of ice after Hurricane Katrina – has created a website focused on preparing individuals for eventual disaster. Yes, the organization that closed their Staten Island office because of bad weather after Tropical Storm Sandy, is now providing helpful suggestions for emergency preparedness. The project, on its face, is almost as comedic as the Federal Government’s “Feed the Pig” campaign to encourage saving for retirement. My first reaction to the government telling me to spend less money, or prepare better for emergencies, is “you first”.  

You have likely heard FEMA’s Public Service Announcements on a local radio station. “Be prepared. Make a plan. Build a kit.” Be prepared for what? Well, anything. Be prepared for a wildfire, urban rioting, terrorist activities, or even the zombie apocalypse.

Feeling a little insulted that the government assumes my stock pile of ammunition and MRE’s weren’t enough, I decided to check out what suggestions the Federal government had for my family’s wellbeing in the event of a disaster. I’m now feeling pretty over-prepared.

A repeated theme on the ready.gov website was to “watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available.” Right. . . Because nothing screams preparedness like gluing yourself to sensationalized news coverage, waiting like a very patient drone for government sponsored directions. So, in between Facebook updates about your time in the midst of a hurricane, maybe you can just click over to the Drudge report every now-and-again. Of course, I’m sure FEMA would appreciate diligent observance of MSNBC or PBS coverage instead; but they didn’t specify.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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