Early FEMA Cuts Could Have Killed Thousands due to Hurricanes

Alex Senft, Sports Editor

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Alexander Senft

Harvey and Irma

In the tail end of our summer vacation, a new season was catching full stride without most really knowing: Hurricane Season. During the early weeks of September to about mid-October, the hurricane season reaches its peak; this year,  a pair of terrifying storms cast a pall on our American south. In the case of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, our nation is in a state of peril. At the time of this writing, Harvey has already passed over but still has a huge impact on Houston’s infrastructure and society as a whole, and Irma is just now making landfall on Florida’s mainland. Both these storms are frightening in nature due to the fact of this simple “what if?” What if FEMA (Federal Emergence Management Agency)’s budget was cut drastically? During Donald Trump’s campaign he promised to cut five billion dollars’ worth of budget from the Coast Guard, TSA (Transportation Security Administration), and FEMA chiefly. This is a drastic issue however, due to a situation such as this one our nation faces today. Trump calls for an 11% cut from FEMA’s already miniscule budget, which would take it from $7.3 billion to $6.5 billion with the extra money going to the funding of border protections in the south. Although this may seem as a lot of money, it really is not. Look at Harvey for example. Hurricane Harvey drastically hit a Houston that hasn’t been hit in almost ten years by a severe hurricane, the last being Hurricane Ike in 2008. Harvey, though,  has completely swept Houston from under its feet. FEMA has said officially, “We are running on fumes” with regard to their budget after Harvey, and now Irma has made landfall, hitting another major city, Miami. With 15-foot storm surges threatening beach houses and condominiums lining the Gulf Coast, billions of dollars of damage is being predicted. It is without question that FEMA will run out of its budget before finishing its Irma relief, so what would happen? More government subsidies are going to be needed to be put into relief programs, which will deprive other programs of their possible budget. All in all, though, America would find a way, whether that be through fiscal or physical means, they can make it work. With hurricane season still at its peak, America must begin to act more frugal in an effort to conserve whatever budget remains.

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