Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Little Bit of Local Politics

Some years ago I wrote about why I don't vote for John McCain, but since then Cox discontinued the practice of providing free web space where the documents were housed.

While I'm sure he's a good man and has done some good things, I also think he's out of touch with local constituents.  I've never seen any type of town hall meeting where he's actually meeting with the locals here unless it's election season.

What I had sent to him was a suggestion as to what could be done with the massive amount of trailers purchased by FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  News reports were showing how the trailers were sitting unused in lots by the dozens because they had no place to put them.

I sent John  McCain's office the following:

FEMA Evacuation Center Suggestions

This page contains ideas and suggestions for how FEMA and other supporting agencies can assist those in distress and in need of shelter. The basis for these ideas is a simple one: it is the blueprint of the Bishop's Storehouses for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tweaked to include housing for evacuees.. These have already proven themselves successful repeatedly in various disaster scenerios.

  1. There are military bases closed and closing announced in 2005 prior to the Hurricane. What is the status of those closures, and what has been done with the property since then?
    1. Is this property vacant yet?
    2. Is this property on a flood plane?
    3. What structures currently exist on the property?
    4. How is the property set up with basic utilities?
  2. Given these closures, and given that this land has been vacated already, the property should be turned over to FEMA.
  3. FEMA should examine the property:
    1. See if problems from previously stored military items pose a health hazard.
    2. See what utilities exist on property and to what extent.
    3. Design layout of the new FEMA Regional Evacuation Center.
  4. Possible layout:
    1. Trailers should be placed in clusters of 3.
    2. A priority to keep families together.
    3. Each 3 trailers will share one large septic tank.
    4. There are solar panels designed to power trailers, these can be used for electricity.
    5. Water towers for each 24 trailers or 5 gallon barrels for each person living in the trailers can be provided with a refill station at the FEMA Offices.
    6. The Evacuation Center should use natural resources, so as not to strain overextended power grids and water tables.
    7. Eight clusters of trailers will surround the group community center.
    8. The group community center will also become the evacuation center for the occupants of the 24 surrounding trailers.
    9. Ask the Red Cross to provide 72-hour kits for all trailer occupants, to be kept in lockers at the evacuation room at the centers.
    10. FEMA offices will also contain a storehouse of emergency supplies, and satellite/ham radio equipment.
    11. Apartments to be built to house more evacuees, also with community/ evacuation centers.
    12. A combined school will need to be built, with portables to be used until the school can be built.
    13. Day care will also need to be provided, to allow evacuees the ability to find new jobs, or get vocational training for new jobs.
    14. A medical center will be needed with 24 hour services, portables can be used until it is built.
    15. Counseling services will also be provided at the medical center.
    16. Apartments for those needing assisted living should be built in immediate vicinity of the medical center.
    17. Cats and Dogs should be housed in a separate area, identifying pets, notifying owners if they do not know where the pet is at, maintaining their well being. This would be handled through local authorities or the Humane Society.
    18. Provisions should be made in advance for other animals.
    19. Utilizing existing contracts with vendors for the Dept. of Defense, maintain the base grocery stores for exclusive use by evacuees.
    20. Barracks for military personnel serving as law enforcement should be provided, with extra space set up if additional people needed in a disaster.
    21. Offices should be set up for insurance company representatives and adjusters.
    22. There should be a locally transmitted television station to provide updates to the evacuees.
  5. FEMA will continue to maintain property as a regional center to service future needs, and provide faster service for future natural and terrorist disasters.
  6. Emergency preparedness training camps can also be held on the property.
  7. This is not only applicable to the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, but these regional centers should be strategically placed around the USA for faster and more localized assistance in future disasters.
  8. FEMA offices:
    1. Obtain and maintain lists of those staying at the regional center.
    2. Oversight of the facilities at the Regional Center.
    3. Provide areas set up for Insurance Representatives.
    4. Provide areas for State, County and City governments to allow for better coordination between local government entities and FEMA.
    5. Oversee evacuations, once approved at the national level.
  9. SBA should also have offices on site for:
    1. SBA loans to rebuild homes and businesses.
    2. Classroom spaces set up for vocational training as some may need to change careers as well as addresses.
  10. The Red Cross should also have offices for:
    1. Oversight of provisions for food and other essentials.
    2. Oversight of medical needs and counseling.
    3. Oversight of day care needs.
    4. Preparations as needed for future disasters.
    5. Training as needed for disaster preparedness.
    6. Assist evacuees with locating and reuniting with lost family members.
    7. Assist evacuees with locating lost animals.
  11. Law Enforcement should be handled at the federal level:
    1. Active personnel in the Armed Forces.
    2. National Guard as needed.
I'll post the scanned image of what I received from his office:

 This was obviously sent by a staff member who was working in his office at the time, whether they sent it as a joke or not, I have no idea.  It just would have been nice to know my letter and suggestions were actually being taken seriously.

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