As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!

Why do I get the feeling that somewhere there is some poor slob(s) telling his FEMA supervisor he honestly thought MREs were indestructible…

As many as 6 million prepared meals stockpiled near potential
victims of the 2006 hurricane season spoiled in the Gulf Coast heat
last summer when the Federal Emergency Management Agency ran short of
warehouse and refrigeration space, according to agency officials.

all, hundreds of truckloads of food worth more than $40 million are
being thrown away or scavenged for unspoiled contents to be offered to
domestic hunger-relief groups, FEMA officials said. Most of the meals
were commercial versions of the military’s Meals Ready to Eat, which
were ruined despite being engineered to withstand the demands of desert
and jungle climates.


Most of the supplies that expired were in Selma, Ala., where FEMA
workers tracked the temperatures inside trailers as they topped 120
degrees, Johnson said. Plastic water bottles burst and food degraded in
the heat. Some of the food rotted, and the rest no longer met Army
food-storage guidelines, Johnson said.

I thought MRE’s were indestructible but then I’m not responsible for buying and storing millions of them. If I were I would have taken a minute with The Google and found this at


Getting serious now…of course once again there may be another questionable letting of a no bid contract involved in this. FEMA has promised and not yet delivered a new system to track all their vehicles going through their warehouses (from above WaPo article)…

The contract to develop that system was awarded, without competitive
bidding, to a small suburban Atlanta company in 2005, before Katrina
hit. The company, Stratix Corp., has received more than $43 million of
$71 million spent so far on the project.

In May 2006, it hired
Kenneth O. Burris Jr., FEMA’s chief operating officer and a proponent
of the project, as a top executive. FEMA’s ethics office investigated
Burris’s dealings with Stratix and determined that his actions were
“aboveboard,” said spokesman Aaron Walker.

But what really struck me in this article is this …

The agency [FEMA] has700 unfilled positions as it races to comply with a reorganization ordered by Congress.

WTF? 700?

For years now FEMA has had hundreds of unfilled positions. In 2004 Rep. David Price (D – NC) tried to find out how many hundreds from FEMA officials. Krugman pointed out that more than 15% of FEMA positions (approximately 400) were unfilled a year before Katrina. At the time when Katrina hit 500 positions were unfilled. That year FEMA had established a 95/95 goal or 95 percent staffing in 95 days.” But as of August last year FEMA was still at only 83% or 400 positions unfilled according to FEMA director David Paulison.

And now according to WaPo it is at 700 unfilled positions? This is going in the wrong direction and I’d really like to hear an explanation.


10 thoughts on “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!

  1. You want an explanation? I’ll give you the explanation. FEMA still is too large to drown in a bathtub. We are talking about an administration that doesn’t believe in having a federal government, except as a means for increasing corporate profits for corporations friendly to the administration. FEMA just isn’t an efficient means of transferring tax money to private bank accounts.

  2. Great work as always, Scout. Maybe they should let you fill a few hundred of those open positions? 😉

  3. so 40 million more dollars absolutely wasted. What’s the approximate total of completely wasted money and resources now? It’s obscene, isn’t it?

  4. georgie has set the government on rot. ho boy, get ready for the active summer hurricane season.
    wondering if my little area of america could be hit by a hurricane or something catastrophic, cause georgie taint gonna help.

  5. hoppycalif is right on the mark, but I’d expand at bit, at the risk of being too conspiracy-ish.
    FEMA apparently didn’t fail badly enough the last time. Keep it woefully understaffed, wait for the inevitable and then, when FEMA fails miserably; wail and gnash teeth about how the gov’t can’t do anything and we should all be responsible for ourselves and here, these nice folks from Emergency Insurance, Inc. ™ will guarantee that YOU are helped, for a small fee. Repeat as needed.
    700 unfilled postings? That’s a feature, not a bug.
    That may be the essence of “drown in a bathtub”, but I’m new to the concept and felt the need to say it.
    (FYI, MRE’s are imminently destructible. The hot dog version isn’t called the fingers of death for nothing. The vegetarian versions aren’t too bad though.)

  6. Sorry, John H. Farr, but *frozen* turkeys don’t. As Les Nessman and Herb Tarlek found out the hard way. “Oh, the humanity!”
    Thanks for the WKRP flashback, scout.

  7. About the Turkeys flying – commercially raised turkeys have been bred to have lots of white meat at their breasts and dark meet in the legs. (Think about this in terms of fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers being in the wrong places). Additionally, after they’re stuffed, they become so aerodynamically inept that they can’t fly.
    Now wild turkeys – that’s another story.
    BTW – I grew up near the mall which was the inspiration for the WKRP story. Fortunately, when a local radio station announced its plans, someone was kind enough to call the station and explain the practical difficulties.

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