Team Obama Fail: People Without Power Sent to the Web to Get Hurricane Info
In the course of responding to any major emergency, it is not unheard of and often understandable that government agencies and elected leaders may make a minor goof. Most these can be explained through trying to do their best with what limited information and resources may be available during a pretty stressful time, coupled with a sincere desire to help people in need. But then there are other goofs which are outright unbelievable, such as this one from our White House and FEMA — both very image-conscious organizations with plenty of people who should have caught such an obvious flaw before it went out:
When President Barack Obama urged Americans under siege from Hurricane Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on ready.gov for the latest, he left out something pretty important — where to turn if the electricity goes out.
Despite the heightened expectation of widespread power and cable television failures, everyone from the president to local newscasters seem to expect the public to rely entirely on the Internet and their TVs for vital news and instructions.
Technology, especially the internet and social media, are becoming a bigger part of our lives every day. We can access more information now in an hour’s worth of surfing than would have even been fathomable even 30 years ago, back when FEMA was formed. But with the ease and accessibility comes an ever-growing dependency, a dependency that becomes painfully evident when it won’t work on a massive scale.
Make no mistake, individuals and families are ultimately responsible to ensure their own safety. All the great survival ideas and insights posted on websites by government agencies won’t do any good if those individuals and families don’t take action before a hurricane hits. They also need to be the ones that ensure they can still access more tradition means of information should the power go out during an emergency. That is something we sort of take for granted here in North Dakota because, with our weather, we are just exposed to it more than most areas of the country. But, agencies like FEMA which we spend lots of tax dollars on and who position themselves front and center during emergencies as someone we can go to to get information from, should have been ready to keep the information flow going when the power went out.
This part of the article is particularly telling:
A call to FEMA’s news desk, however, found even they didn’t have any non-Internet information readily available beyond suggestions that people call 911 in an emergency. When asked where folks should turn for information if they have no power, a FEMA worker said, “Well, those people who have a laptop with a little battery life on it can try that way. Otherwise, you’re right.”
Government can do better than that. They have to during times of crisis because it is one area where they have an actual constitutional responsibility to excel at.Tags: Barack Obama, big government, Domestic Issues, election 2012, fema, hurricane sandy, Nanny State