FEMA on Ice: “You don’t know how complicated an area this gets to be.”

FEMA announcd in April it will no longer provide ice after hurricanes though word of that decision apparently didn’t reach many people until last week and Mississippi officials are not too happy about the decision.From the Sun Herald:

MEMA Director Mike Womack said Monday that his agency is doing all it
can to be prepared to supply ice to the public after a hurricane.

he warned that the state doesn’t have the money or the procurement
power that the federal government has, so it might have difficulty
meeting the demand.

And if MEMA does commit to coming through with ice, he wants it in writing that FEMA will reimburse the state.

“Well, I can tell you first of all that I’ve been opposed to the
change in (FEMA) policy from the beginning,” Womack said. “They’ve been
talking about it for a year.”

FEMA announced as early as April at
the National Hurricane Conference in Miami that it would supply ice
post-disaster only for medical emergencies or life-saving circumstances
and not to the public in general. Word has trickled back to leaders on
the Coast, and it became news to South Mississippians last week, when a
county supervisor in Jackson County announced it.

Also on Monday,
a regional FEMA spokesman said it’s possible that the FEMA policy on
ice is not final and could be subject to change. However, calls to
FEMA’s national headquarters were not returned Monday.

difficulty in setting policy on such an issue is that “ice can be a
necessity if it’s hot, ” the spokesman said. “But if it’s a comfort
item, it’s outside the realm of what we do. You don’t know how
complicated an area this gets to be.”
(my emphasis)

Over theweekend the Sun Herald reported on a watchdog group that is putting heat on FEMA over their ice decision…

Ben Smilowitz, executive director for the Disaster Accountability
Project, said Friday ice brought in for the public is a necessity after
a hurricane and criticized FEMA’s decision to deliver it only for
medical emergencies or life-saving reasons.


He urged people not to accept FEMA’s decision.


it was completely irresponsible for FEMA to announce the decision to
Mississippi after hurricane season has started,” he said. “If FEMA
cares about preparedness, they’ll delay it until next season. You can’t
just drop this on a state now.”

There is much more at theDisaster Accountability
Project’s blog
including this:

Either way, FEMA’s newly announced “ice plans” are a stark departure from the newly minted National Response Framework.

Forprevious FD post on FEMA ice decision

2 thoughts on “FEMA on Ice: “You don’t know how complicated an area this gets to be.”

  1. It’s only June and FEMA is already making stupid statements without thinking things out.
    Is the new director even as qualified as “heck of a job” Brownie?

  2. Looks like those of us on the coast are SOL. Completely on out own.

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