Friday, February 28, 2020

Possible Reform Measures to the Stafford Act to Make It More Essay

Possible Reform Measures to the Stafford Act to Make It More Functional in Todays Society - Essay Example The Stafford Act was meant to agitate states and local authorities to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness protocols and plans. These were meant to enable and facilitate better intergovernmental coordination in the event of a disaster (Farber & Chen, 2006). The act stipulated that both public and private entities be encouraged to seek insurance cover to help them absorb losses incurred due to the destruction of property and assets in these calamities. The act also recommends federal assistance programs and interventions for losses due to a disaster(Farber & Chen, 2006). The Stafford Act was able to instigate the creation of a system through which a president could declare a disaster emergency. This declaration triggers financial and physical interventions through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Through FEMA, the Act gives the agency the power and responsibility of coordinating government sanctioned relief efforts(Farber & Chen, 2006). The New Orleans disaster was caused by Hurricane Katrina that was characterized by massive flooding, which led to the destruction of property and loss of life. According to Title I of the Stafford Act, the federal government can only intervene after an occurrence has been determined to be a disaster by the president(Farber & Chen, 2006). This is a major weakness to the Act because the people of New Orleans suffered a great deal before the then president declared hurricane Katrina as a disaster.  Under the Act, the federal government can shoulder the burden of financing local authority’s obligations if the damage caused by the disaster was to such an extent that the local government can not function. FEMA is tasked with the responsibility of assessing the situation of the affected area and formulating measures that alleviate the negative impact of the disaster. FEMA officials are federal employees, and they are mostly not in touch with the immediate needs of the locals in af fected areas.  

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