Privatizing FEMA for New Orleans?
September 3, 2005 12:02 AM   Subscribe

Innovative Emergency Management So this private company got the contract to develop the plan last year. The original release: the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Now all press releases regarding it have been pulled from their website post-Katrina.
posted by amberglow (21 comments total)
a company called Dewberry is involved too: Louisiana Plans for Major Hurricane Disasters:
Had one of the devastating hurricanes targeted New Orleans and southeast Louisiana, state and local officials would have been ready. In July, Dewberry teamed with IEM, Inc., of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to conduct a seven-day emergency planning exercise that gauged the region's readiness for a catastrophic hurricane. The FEMA-sponsored exercise enabled participating agencies to evaluate and fine-tune their preparation, response, and recovery plans for a wide range of emergency conditions.

Dewberry provided expertise in the areas of hurricane tracking and inundation modeling; debris management, including dealing with hazardous materials and leaking underground storage tanks; urban search and rescue operations; and temporary housing. The firm also provided guidance in utilizing GIS to identify critical state-owned infrastructure and facilities.

posted by amberglow at 12:05 AM on September 3, 2005

Way to blamestorm a few ideas. OUCH!
Nice job.
posted by jmccorm at 12:11 AM on September 3, 2005

The original press release via the Wayback Machine.
posted by zerokey at 12:11 AM on September 3, 2005

Not that leaving it all to FEMA would have been a good idea, damaged as it was by Bush patronage hires.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:12 AM on September 3, 2005

And the rest of us can breath easy too---IEM is on the case for all of us: IEM Selected by Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) to Help State and Local Jurisdictions Prevent, Respond & Recover from Terrorist Acts
posted by amberglow at 12:27 AM on September 3, 2005

(China who i linked to is this China--you may have heard of him)
posted by amberglow at 12:31 AM on September 3, 2005

I can't _imagine_ what sort of shit New Orleans would be in were it not for the innovation and foresight of IEM!

Also, I heard that Halliburton has a contract from 2003 to help rebuild some stuff in NO should a hurricane strike (however, I heard it on Coast to Coast). Please! Somebody tell me it aint so.
posted by Joybooth at 12:33 AM on September 3, 2005

Innocent before proven guilty guess: Were I the owner or spokesperson of one of these companies I wouldn't want to be associated with this monumental catastrophe (words really are meaningless) because their plans weren't followed rather than because their plans were followed.

"That's right. The evidence that hurricane-management was privatised and handed over to IEM has been eradicated from the IEM website."

Ok, just calm down, Lenin. Governments of all stripes contract studies out to experts all the time. That in and of itself doesn't mean much.

Notice James Lee Witt doesn't appear to be hiding much.
posted by raaka at 12:39 AM on September 3, 2005

More on Pam from them
posted by amberglow at 12:47 AM on September 3, 2005

Good stuff amberglow.
posted by three blind mice at 12:48 AM on September 3, 2005

Disaster in the making: (9/04) ... If the government's going to get smaller and the catastrophes keep getting bigger, the net effect will be to outsource what you need. It might be cheaper, it might be more expensive, but it's not a great way to run this part of government." Following the current spate of hurricanes, she predicts, "you will see FEMA contracts flying left and right so they can get these people back who know how to do this stuff." ...
posted by amberglow at 12:57 AM on September 3, 2005

Half mil? I guess you could hire 3 experts for that, give them an office, and a year to pound a plan, but seems awfully tight, especially for a marquee disaster like N.O.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:39 AM on September 3, 2005

damaged as it was by Bush patronage hires.

Are you suggesting that Michael "Brownie" Brown's past experience as the director of the Arabian Horse Association (ok, admittedly, he was forced to resign for incompetence) was not adequate training to head the agency responsible for managing horrific national disasters? How dare you, sir? Have you ever tried to control a raging Arabian Horse, or an association of raging Arabian Horse owners? It's a lot like controlling the effects of a massive hurricane slamming into a heavily populated city below sea level.
posted by realcountrymusic at 3:47 AM on September 3, 2005

Hey, lighten up real. It should be obvious that when W heard Brown was associated with something Arabian he just assumed the guy knew terrorism. Common mistake.
posted by mss at 6:35 AM on September 3, 2005

What is your point? Oh, I know, more blame upon politicians you don't like. What about some blame upon the Democrats? Don't they run LA and NOLA?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:05 AM on September 3, 2005

they're all to blame--from Local on up. National disasters demand FEDERAL help--it's why we have a Government, and it's why we're all one nation. Don't privatize essential services--ever. This is what happens.
posted by amberglow at 9:45 AM on September 3, 2005

But not the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Which manages emergencies, you know the really big ones.

So I take it you are saying that an affected area approximately the size of England, spanning four states, is a local matter.

Paris, your level of cognitive dissonance is truly astounding.
posted by Freen at 9:47 AM on September 3, 2005

Actually, it's the cognitive dissonance I induce in you, and others, that is my aim.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:58 AM on September 3, 2005

So, Paris, turning over that new leaf didn't last too long, eh?
posted by Vidiot at 10:06 AM on September 3, 2005

DHS WEBSITE: In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort.
posted by amberglow at 10:33 AM on September 3, 2005

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