Expectations from FEMA at organizational level have risen in the wake of random happenings of catastrophes, keeping the government on different levels on the run to find a solution to the problems of emerging risks from all kinds of hazards. Real issues are related to distribution of federal funding to state, local, and regional level organizations and insufficient capabilities for disaster operational planning that affect the performance level of preparedness. The article discusses the FEMA’s housing program, hurricane Katrina, and problems of drought-hit regions to get a perspective on the issues and their solutions but before that it discusses the organizational requirements and present status of FEMA in effectively performing the tasks at hand. The article offers comprehensive recommendations to resolve the conflicts so that FEMA becomes capable of managing the affairs of the varied functions systematically and successfully.
FEMA A Gap Analysis: Mandated Expectations vs. Reality
FEMA has not been successful in realizing the mission and aims stipulated for it. FEMA regions have no budget power to help the states with their strengths and bring together various stakeholders for effective performance during and after the disasters of various categories. Considering FEMA’s role in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Post Katrina Emergency Reform Act 2006, the initial 18 months after the 9/11 the entire country was worried over the future security of the people from such attacks (Schrader, 2011). FEMA was nowhere on the prime scene during the time starting from post-9/11 till Katrina although back office cooperation with the state and local governments was going on to culminate in DHS restructuring called the Second Stage Review (2SR). The post-Katrina Emergency Reforms Act (PKEMRA) in October 2006 culminated in enlarging the role of FEMA for national preparedness by ordering a restructuring of FEMA. Fresh recruitments were made to fill in the vacant posts to buck up regional preparedness through the national operational planning system and bettering the nation wide exercise and training portfolio. Four major issues were attended to concerning information transfer via FEMA to arrange incorporation with DHS, recovery principle, preparedness-mitigation cooperation, and developing an easy-to-use formula and publication process and library. Consensus processes are critical for all issues to make them robust (Schrader, 2011). At state and local level attempts have been made to find out the resources to restructure a seamless public security and health system and integrate it with the national federal security mechanism. Happenings the like of 9/11, fear of anthrax attack, and smallpox risk has enhanced the urgency for state and local level preparedness, creating the need to transform some vertical activities into horizontal processes. Expectations of the people from the government have increased demanding integration in services outcomes in the light of globalization, 24X7 connections with the outside world and the internet. People expect every crucial issue planned in advance as he situation arrives (Schrader, 2011). People expect that disaster recovery is a federal issue; actually, state and local administration plays a critical role in disaster recovery. They want to make disaster victims compensated via public funding, which creates a difference between expectations and reality. FEMA was keen to provide the next response after Katrina wholesome. It was identified that FEMA can play a crucial part in short-term compensation but for that