How long is a reasonable period of time to accept waiting before the government forces move in to help you put your life back together?
This is a picture from today of the Breezy Point section of Queens, where a fire in the middle of the hurricane overnight destroyed dozens of homes.
And a few minutes ago, NBC's Matt Lauer tweeted this:
Just toured devastation in Rockaway Beach N.Y. Crushed by storm and fires. People asking if @fema knows they need help.— Matt Lauer (@MLauer) October 30, 2012
"Blame game" might be a little too strong for this tweet. It sounds like the dazed residents -- who probably feel isolated and alone -- asked a reporter if the rest of the world -- and the federal government -- knows what happened to their neighborhood.
Considering the FEMA response to Katrina, it does not seem to be an unreasonable question.
Not seeing a lot of blame -- yet.
Do you think, Mr. Lauer, journalist extraordinaire, could maybe do his job and follow up on if FEMA is actually there or not instead of just tweeting hearsay?
Mr Lauer is deeply embedded in gotcha journalism, and likely has no idea what a buffoon he's become. In terms of the 'real' blame game, perhaps nothing is more amusing than former FEMA director Mike 'Heckuva job' Brown criticizing the Obama admin for reacting too quickly to hurricane Sandy. Gov Chris Christie, on the other hand, who is actually taking his job seriously, has done a complete about-face, literally overnight, and has been generous in his praise for the Federal Gov't - and Pres Obama specifically - in reacting swiftly to the disaster.
While the storm is still happening is probably not a good time to be making those sorts of comments. Yes, people are willing (and waiting) to help, but there's likely a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure that those folks can get in safely.
Unless someone's life is in danger, there's no sense in risking someone else's life just to provide help.
FEMA probably wouldn't be helping if that were a fire not caused by a large storm -- that's more the purview of the local Red Cross and other local agencies. Those are the folks who I would expect to be first on the ground to help those disastrously affected by the fires.
If people really think that FEMA has sufficient supplies staged so closely to the probably damage to be there within a couple of hours, they should think again. If equipment is staged that closely, it's likely to be damaged by the same event that they're preparing for.
Perspective is needed here.
Then again, I say that safely here in the Midwest, utterly unaffected by the storm.
I also thought that was a class move on Governor Christie's part. Especially since he did it on Fox and Friends. That show has an audience that doesn't often hear "Barack Obama is good at his job" from a Republican.
Though I think the sort of sigh of relief going around now is premature. It's going to go from "phew we survived" to "why don't I have power?" within two days.
Funny, as a former FEMA director thinks the response was too quick. Though if Brownie says it was too quick, it was probably good.