When I wrote “An Insider’s Critique of FEMA” earlier this month I had no idea it would catch fire. The post was shared in a nationwide mass-email to all FEMA employees and passed on to thousands of others. I knew that my experiences mirrored those I worked with but was surprised at all the messages of support I received from people I had never met. Some current employees have told me it has a lot of managers talking and it may help create some changes; so let’s keep up the pressure.
Since I wrote that post I have been learning not only how widespread internal disaffection with the organization is, but that there are already people fighting to try to change many of the practices I was disgusted by. A short list:
Thank you, everyone who has shown support. It has encouraged me to do more. I am working on a second article right now.
I still believe in the ideal that when disaster strikes and overwhelms a community, our first priority should be to help them recover as fully, quickly and selflessly as possible. The public is vaguely aware that FEMA is imperfect but I want to help expose the details of just how that ideal has been corrupted. So many of the problems I saw were allowed to grow and multiply behind closed doors. I’d like to open those doors.
If anyone has their own experience and critique to share I’d like to help bring it to light. You may use your own name or be anonymous but please do not name anyone else and make sure your critique is about the organization and not individuals within in. You can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll post it here. FEMA is watching, let’s show them something.