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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12,866

    No Hands on Deck

    Editorial
    No Hands on Deck

    You can't get anyone to take over as captain of a ship that's already sinking. That's the message top candidates are sending the administration about the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    As Eric Lipton reported in Sunday's Times, many of the leading candidates for the post of FEMA director have taken themselves out of the running. Normally high-profile positions like that are sought after, even fought over. But no one seems to want to take over the rudderless agency after the mess that followed Hurricane Katrina.

    The lack of interest in the job represents a significant vote of no confidence in FEMA's future by leading experts in the field. Clearly, the administration won't be able to plug just a few holes at the top and expect the agency to heal itself. President Bush needs to set a clear agenda for reform and make tangible commitments on the agency's future role.

    To start, FEMA's personnel troubles go much deeper than one open position. Mr. Lipton reported that 11 of the 30 most senior jobs at the agency were filled on an acting basis — including the administrators for operations, disaster recovery and disaster response. This is hardly a recipe for providing the clarity, the sense of purpose and, most of all, the sense of stability this agency needs.

    It would be a mistake to simply make the acting director, David Paulison, the permanent chief, as the administration is expected to do. That would create the impression that this crucial government function was being handed over to the only person willing to take it on. Administration officials need to tackle the real impediment to finding a new director: uncertainty over FEMA's role and future.

    First they need to answer a central question. Is FEMA an agency of accountants or emergency responders? Is it there to provide financial reimbursement or boots on the ground during disasters? The answer should be: a little bit of both. Most of the time, FEMA helps local and state governments after a crisis has passed. But in the largest catastrophes, when local people are as overwhelmed as they were after Hurricane Katrina, the other role — managing the response to a major disaster — is called upon. Those are the areas officials are trying to improve after the botched response to Katrina.

    FEMA has suffered upheaval in recent years, not least because it went from being an independent cabinet agency to being one piece of the huge homeland security bureaucracy. Katrina exposed major failings that the agency is trying to address. Trying is nice, but as the chairman of the House appropriations panel for homeland security, Harold Rogers, put it last week, "Another failure is not an option."

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12,866

    Re: No Hands on Deck

    http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu...006/april2006/


    EXTENDED RANGE FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND U.S. LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY FOR 2006

    We continue to foresee another very active Atlantic basin tropical cyclone
    season in 2006. Landfall probabilities for the 2006 hurricane season are
    well above their long-period averages.

    (as of 4 April 2006)

    By Philip J. Klotzbach[1] and William M. Gray
    with special assistance from William Thorson


    This forecast as well as past forecasts and verifications are available via
    the World Wide Web at http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts

    Emily Wilmsen and Brad Bohlander, Colorado State University Media
    Representatives, (970-491-6432) are available to answer various questions
    about this forecast


    Department of Atmospheric Science
    Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, CO 80523
    Email: [email protected]

    ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2006


    Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
    Climatology (in parentheses)
    Issue Date
    6 December 2005
    Issue Date
    4 April 2006

    Named Storms (NS) (9.6)
    17
    17

    Named Storm Days (NSD) (49.1)
    85
    85

    Hurricanes (H) (5.9)
    9
    9

    Hurricane Days (HD) (24.5)
    45
    45

    Intense Hurricanes (IH) (2.3)
    5
    5

    Intense Hurricane Days (IHD) (5.0)
    13
    13

    Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (100%)
    195
    195


    PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE LANDFALL ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COASTAL AREAS:

    1) Entire U.S. coastline - 81% (average for last century is 52%)

    2) U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida - 64% (average for last
    century is 31%)

    3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville - 47%
    (average for last century is 30%)

    4) Above-average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean


    _____

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