We The People 2020
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer."
John F. Kennedy
"The value of our nation depends on the value of our neighbors."
With two to three Hurricanes that come ashore a year, one would think FEMA Federal Emergency Management Administration would by now know how to properly provide "emergency assistance." But this government agency only focuses on the social relief issues (money payout, insurance) and not the physical relief issues (providing food, water, clothing and shelter) in a timely manner. Looking back at Hurricane Sandy the hardest hit areas as in all hurricanes are the beachfront properties. The residents who lived on these beachfront properties were interviewed by news teams a week or so after Sandy hit.
These residents told the news teams that it took up to a week to see anyone from FEMA and up to two weeks for any relief supplies to reach them. The stories were the same in all hurricanes, so why does it take a week or two for relief supplies to reach these beachfront properties? Because we use wheeled vehicles to get to the hardest hits areas. We approach the disaster area on land from the backside clearing roads of downed trees, power lines and general debris to reach the beachfront. The closer you get to the beachfront the harder it is to get through. So what happens as in all hurricanes, the people who lived furthest from beachfront and least hit received the relief supplies first. The people on the oceanfront property who were the hardest hit were the last ones to receive any supplies, that is, if there were any supplies left.
My solution - Hurricanes hit land coming from the ocean. So why not provide a quick relief response from the ocean? I will reactivate one LPD (Austin Class) or LHA (Tarawa Class) with Amtrak's, AKA (Charleston Class), and an ocean going tug with a fuel barge, all from the reserve mothball fleet. These ships are retired but mothballed for future use if needed. All of them will be eventually scrapped or used as gunnery targets or become artificial reefs. (Goggle these ships to find the operational characteristics.)
There are several different ways to fund the operation of these ships. One would be to give the operational authority to the costal Governors. These states can stock these ships through fund drive, donations, and etc. If the Governors choose to they can make up a committee to overlook the stocking. The goal is to have the states take charge of their own emergency relief operation. If a hurricane hits a particular state, then that state Governor will have the operational authority over those ships. Naturally there would be a no cost to the states for the use of these ships since the states were the one’s who stocked them.
The federal government will keep these ships fueled up. The crews I hoping would be volunteers of retired sailors or sailors who were discharged and will volunteer for the up keep and operation of these ships.
The relief operation will have these ships follow the hurricane ashore, either mooring up to a pier if available or just anchor off shore at the hardest hit areas and to bring in the supplies directly on to the beachfront by helicopters or Amtraks. These ships can also berth 1500 to 2500 people.
As far as FEMA continuing as an insurance company the answer would be no. FEMA will be weaning the public away from the practice of rebuilding your home or property after a hurricane. So much public money was wasted on rebuilding the same homes in the same areas after repeated hurricanes. A high number of home owners refused to get home insurance knowing FEMA will step in and replace their homes if they did not have insurance. Since insurance companies were losing clients to FEMA in these high risk areas, the insurance companies therefore had no choice but to start refusing coverage to those high risk areas. You’re supposed to pay into FEMA but many did not, but FEMA covered the uninsured anyway. So FEMA was paying out more than it was bringing in.
By taking FEMA (the government) out of the insurance pool, this will open up the market to private insurance companies that don’t have to compete against an insurance agency that “covers you for free" - when that insurance agency (FEMA)had access to tax dollars.
This agency would have a different SOP (Standard of Operation) FEMA would become FERA. Federal Emergency Response Agency. This agency will respond with relief items only, not tax dollars. The normal relief from trucks on land with donated items will still stay the same working their way into the disaster area.