Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 7, 2006

A new approach for preventing pandemic flu?

Filed under: Humor — by Christian Beckner on April 7, 2006

Andy Borowitz puts forward a grand unified theory of disaster prevention in his latest column:

In testimony before Congress today, the acting head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said that the United States could handle both an outbreak of bird flu and a major hurricane as long as the hurricane successfully eradicated the bird population.

Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulison said that the agency was putting a series of plans in place to deal with a possible bird flu pandemic, but added, “We’re really counting on a major hurricane to do the heavy lifting for us, bird-killing-wise.”

Mr. Paulison outlined a series of scenarios his agency has been developing in which birds are wiped out by other natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

“These birds think they’re pretty tough, but just you wait,” he said. “They’re no match for molten lava.”

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2006 @ 9:55 am

This is a joke, right? I know of no studies by FEMA on bird populations post-disaster. They (the birds) are usually dispersed not destroyed. This guy is up for confirmation? He should go back to putting out fires, on the line. I cannot believe he gave this testimony. I hope it gets subjected to the most thorough peer group review or whatever. It is really appalling. By the way the Department of Interior is the responsible agency under the National Contingency Plan for Oil Spills and Hazard Materials Releases (see E.O. 12560 as amended) and I wonder what they would day to this. That plan by the way was supposed to be rolled into the NRP (National Response Plan) as mandated by the Homeland Security Strategy (July 2002); the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (November 2002); and HSPD 5 (February 2003. To my knowledge it still exists as a separate plan. I think the Co-chairs of the NCP are still the Coast Guard (now in DHS) and EPA. That plan has the concept of an OSC (ON-SCENE Commander) that no doubt relates skillfully to the FCO concept under the Robert T. Stafford Act and the NRP’s (National Response Plan) PFO (Principal Federal Official).


Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

You can see I have no sense of “HUMOR.”


Comment by William R. Cumming

April 9, 2006 @ 1:51 am

Okay! One final thought! It would be interesting for the Congress to hold a hearing wherein both Foresman-the confirmed Preparedness Directorate head in DHS and Paulison-the acting head of the former (I guess) FEMA office, now the FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTORATE in DHS would testify on the respective funding, roles, and management objectives of each of their organizations, or any other relevant part of DHS, on AVIAN FLU issues. Nothing happens in the Federal Government until money and staff are applied. Exactly what assets are being applied by these organizations and how exactly do they liaison with HHS and CDC? See I really don’t have a sense of humor.

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