Sunday, September 02, 2007

Feds to restrict volunteers at disasters - Yahoo! News

Deep breath everyone...I know they mean well, but wow is FEMA incompetent.

Feds to restrict volunteers at disasters - Yahoo! News:
"In an effort to provide better control and coordination, the federal government is launching an ambitious ID program for rescue workers to keep everyday people from swarming to a disaster scene. A prototype of the new first responder identification card is already being issued to fire and police personnel in the Washington, D.C., area.

Shearer...said the experience [as volunteer supply manager at the WTC] convinced her that agencies are ill-equipped to handle major disasters — but don't want outsiders pointing out their failings. Similar frustrations arose after Katrina, when people were shocked that the government struggled to take basic supplies such as water to the worst areas. 'They're more worried about keeping volunteers out than doing an analysis of what really went wrong,' Shearer said. 'Independent citizens need to be involved, where we have no ax to grind or cross to bear. But we will tell the truth, and we will tell what we see and bear witness to the incompetence.' Dickinson, the federal fire official, said the government is not trying to discourage volunteers, but he thinks there should come a time, within a few days of a disaster, when civilians step back and let the professionals take control."
Why do I feel like I am reading Orwell's 1984? FEMA and others saying the volunteers are the problem.

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