Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like a terrible idea????

Feds to restrict volunteers at disasters

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

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.

Proponents say the system will get professionals on scene quicker
and keep untrained volunteers from making tough work more difficult.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency came up with the idea after the World Trade Center attack and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when countless Americans rushed to help — unasked, undirected, and sometimes unwanted.

Many of those volunteers angrily dispute the notion they were a
burden. They insist that in many instances they were able to deliver
respirators, hard hats, and protective boots to workers when no one
else seemed able.

Ground zero volunteer Rhonda Shearer and her daughter launched a
fast-moving supply system that bypassed regular channels, often
infuriating city officials.

Even as she delivered box trucks packed with supplies over months of
recovery work, she increasingly ended up in a cat-and-mouse game with New York City's police and emergency management agency.

Shearer, 53, said the experience convinced 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," said Shearer. "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."


Mike Taylor, executive director of the National Demolition Association, said his industry is talking with aides to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about putting it in place in his state.

"If California
goes ahead and does that, it will flow across the country. This is a
really smart idea by someone in the Bush administration to be able to
control access to the site and frankly, make sure there are no
untrained people," said Taylor. "If somebody goes running down to the
site, you have to stop and ask them, wait, are they certified to do
this work?


Because, golly, FEMA does such a bang-up job that we sure should just leave it all to them.
And I'm sure they'll be able to organize all this effectively too — just the way they organized their own effective rescue efforts in New Orleans.
Next time there's a major disaster, we certainly don't want any awkward independent witnesses around.
When the Big One hits, Arnie can just blockade the whole thing.

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14 responses to this post.

  1. No, you're not. Thank you for sharing that.


  2. Oh great, just GREAT. Like you just said, FEMA has done such a bangup job on everything it touches so far that we should now give THEM the exclusive rights to ALL rescue efforts in every disaster????? THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY I CAN"T LET GO OF THE SHIFT KEY………The Polyticks are swarming hot and heavy. We are all going to suffocate under the weight of them. God (or whatever) help us ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. WTF after watching Katrina we know that we are on our own. I hope this gets trashed where it should be. I just get so pissed off anymore. Yikes.




  5. [this is VERY good]
    Yeppers! We have to look after each other. The government can't say diddly!


  6. What in the crap can ANY of us do about this idiocy??? Or ANY of the idiocies???It feels so hopeless sometimes, like everything is spiraling out of control. Used to be some responsible, intelligent, caring people would make decisions and get stuff done. When the munitions ship blew up in Halifax harbor in what was it…1917?…the US had the supplies and staffing for a 500 bed hospital there from Boston in TWO days. It's been two years in New Orleans. And we can barely do ANYthing.


  7. Lauo, *restricting volunteers*, yes–bad idea. I think being prepared and helping each other– veddy GOOD idea.
    I don't think the East Coast is "safe" from the wrath of Mother Nature. I get a little annoyed when people think we can't be HIT. We're due for one, too!
    I'm further inshore, so I can stick my tongue out at hurricanes(pretty much!) It's the tornadoes that scare me. 😦


  8. This is effing stupid. Why would anybody volunteer unless they KNEW what they were doing? Yeah, some people might make things harder in their willingness to help but I bet they'll do a better job any day than the FEMA. Great job, guys, way to try and convince people that generosity is dangerous.


  9. I guess the people who got plucked off rooftops in New Orleans by regular folks with boats would rather have waited til FEMA got around to send someone official for them….


  10. I think "restricting volunteers" is another way for the government to place blame where it should not be. My boss was a state away when all this happened and he took 2 weeks of his own vacation time to go down with his church to rebuild a lot of what they could. It probably accounted for less than 1% of the actual help, but it was help that would not have been there if it had been restricted. My boss is a diehard, conservative Republican, who lives in "The South". It must be terrible for him to come up the the NW and deal with all these liberal asses (I am one. I don't talk politics with him, I just listen). However, I know he wants to help in times like Katrina, and he was able to, and he did. Imagine if he and his 100 other volunteers weren't able to head over, a state or 2 away, and do the work without so much red tape? Seriously. He did a lot of good, and they didn't go thru a ton of beauracracy to do it.


  11. Makes you wonder if the money we donated even went to New Orleans. I appreciate peeps like GB's boss and the "regular people" who pitch in. I agree there are times people, with the very best intentions, might hinder an emergency worker. Say a loved one was in a burning building; the only thought in your mind is "I'm going in!" That is a natural reaction, but that means another life they have to protect. I don't see where this was the case in New Orleans. Some people were stuck for days on those rooftops waiting to be rescued. I don't like to see anyone in distress, so I'd be prolly be one of those *gets in the way* peeps 😦


  12. Holy crap. That is it. Thy just don't want anybody seeing how ineffective they are. Go ahead, try to stop the goodness of humanity. I dare you. I am guessing that the victims of these disasters have no say in who helps them. I just want to see them stop people. Send money. Make checks payable to Halliburton. Nobody can tell anybody who and when they can help. Volunteering is exactly that. We decide what we have to give, when we can give it, and how we can help in ways we know to be effective. Good Samaritans cannot be regulated. I know there were tens of thousands of people who benefitted from the random kind acts of strangers and these control freaks need to keep their grubby politics off our good people's hands. If anything happens where I live I want you all to roll like thunder past the clipboards and focus groups and get me some food and shelter. While they decide how to spend the money you can just feed me and comfort me in times of crisis. I won't leave my pets behind to die alone either. They come with me or I'm not leaving! Hold a gun to my head. I am not going without my family. Half the people who died did so because the shelters wouldn't accept "animals".


  13. "…Ground zero volunteer Rhonda Shearer and her daughter launched a
    fast-moving supply system that bypassed regular channels, often
    infuriating city officials…[who] don't want outsiders
    pointing out their failings."This is just so WRONG. These people's first concern is their public image and saving face. If I were a monkey, I'd be flinging poo.


  14. Oh what the heck, jayPoo. I'm still so annoyed, let's fling some monkey poo ANYway!!!


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