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#91043 - 04/13/07 04:04 PM $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA
gatormba Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
FEMA strikes again!! They let $40 million worth of MREs spoil in the heat.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18084847/
_________________________
"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

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#91049 - 04/13/07 04:36 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: gatormba]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Hmmm. Textbook case of making panicked decisions. FEMA over reacts because the weather predictors stated 2006 would be another bad hurricane season. Nothing hits and some of the food goes bad (the good was given to food banks after being separated from the bad).

If FEMA did nothing and nothing happened no one would know.

If FEMA does nothing and something happens you get the New Orleans/Gulf Coast area disaster.

If FEMA does something and nothing happens you waste $40 million.

If FEMA over-prepares, something happens and they can't get the supplies to people they look like useless gobs.

If FEMA over-prepares, something happens and they do get the supplies to people FEMA looks like heroes.

So, one neutral possibility, one good possibility and three bad possibilities. Odds are stacked against them looking good.

$40,000,000 is out of my level of comprehension. Is that a huge waste or a cheap (but unused) insurance policy? I don't know. Things definately could have been done better, but as my DW likes to say to me, "Cheap, fast, done right: pick two.". With the American breathing down their necks FEMA picked cheap and fast. As far as it being an insurance policy that wasn't used, in many ways that's good thing (I don't mind paying home insurance even if my house hasn't burned down).

End result: I learn that MRE's stored at 80F last three years but if stored at 120F (cooler than inside my car during Texas summer!) they last only one month. Hrpmf! That was an expensive way to let me know this.

Other lesson learned: Just having stuff doesn't mean you are ready. Know how to store/move/use it properly.

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#91054 - 04/13/07 05:08 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: gatormba]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Reminds me of my post-Katrina post about how the USDA confiscated thousands (was it hundreds of thousands?) of NATO rations hurriedly sent as relief supplies by the British because of certain food regulations on our books. Never did find out what finally happened to those rations. They were initially being diverted from the disaster area to be incinerated, but the public outcry made the gov't put them in storage. The US gov't then tried to pawn them off on Third World countries in need of disaster supplies that summer but didn't get any takers. I guess they felt that if they weren't good enough for American consumption, why should they be good enough for their own citizens. That's the last I ever heard about them. They would've expired by now, if I remember correctly.

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#91055 - 04/13/07 05:47 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: Blast]
DesertFox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 339
Loc: New York, NY
I have worked with FEMA on a few occasions over the last 15 years. Pre-Katrina there job was basically to coordinate multiple agencies in multiple jurisdictions when the problem was too big for any one municipality/county/state to handle. And they were pretty darn good at it. About the only equipment they owned was some communication gear.

This is the result of the last two years of federal/state/local politicians pointing fingers instead of trying to fix the problem.

This should make you feel real comfortable. http://www.fema.gov/media/archives/2007/040207.shtm

I think Katrina has given us some unintended consequences. It used to be that the local first-responders handled a problem until it got too big, then they would call in the county/parish, who would then call in the state, who would then call in the feds, depending on the size of the disaster.

In blaming the federal government for Katrina, have the local and state governments now ceded authority/control to the feds in any size emergency, enabling the feds to ride into town and take over regardless of whether they are wanted or needed?

Lessons learned:

1. Appoint agency heads based on qualifications instead of patronage.

2. Political types get out of the way and let the first responders and relief agencies do what they know how to do.

3. Don't order 40 million dollars worth of MREs unless you have warehouse space for 40 million dollars worth of MREs, just so you can say, "look, we're prepared."

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#91056 - 04/13/07 06:13 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: Arney]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Re Arney

The British Ration packs that were sent over for the Katrina disaster relief were newly produced rations. They had the new Yorkie bars and and some had the newly produced Chicken Curry menus. I have heard a rumor that the British Rations weren't issued because of the 2 Chocolate Bars included in each 24hr rations. The British rations have shelf live similar to the US MREs, again depending on the storage temperature. I think the British Government store the rations in refrigerated storage facilities giving a shelf life in excess of around 5 years.



They were not issued and were eventually destroyed. Something to do with political correctness I believe.


Edited by bentirran (04/13/07 06:39 PM)

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#91058 - 04/13/07 06:36 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: Arney]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
The British rations were not accepted because of US laws preventing importing U.K. beef/chicken due to the dangers of Mad Cow Disease. It's the same reason Canada and Japan stopped importing US beef for several years.

Report here.


-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#91061 - 04/13/07 07:09 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: Arney]
Matt26 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 309
Loc: Vermont
I have seen quite a few of the British 24 ration packs on Ebay from a seller located in Louisiana. From the number that she had listed I think she had access to quite a few.
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If it ain't bleeding, it doesn't hurt.

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#91062 - 04/13/07 07:50 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: Blast]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Re - Blast

Interesting article from the Washington Post

Quote:
Washington Post Quote

State Department officials have considered sending the food to Guatemala, which was devastated by mudslides. But the impoverished country does not have vehicles to transport the enormous pallets. For cultural reasons, the meals would be inappropriate for Pakistani earthquake victims.


I think from this quote from a State department official sort of sums up what really happened. The British Rations were destroyed as was rumored, even before the State Department official made these comments. The British Rations were destroyed within days of their arrival at Little Rock, Arkansas.

Quote:
Washington Post Quote

As the rations rode 355 more miles to New Orleans, USDA inspectors hit the road -- literally chasing the delivery trucks to shelters, the city's downtown convention center and other locations where evacuees were found.

Severe flooding prevented inspectors from reaching four sites, and by the time they arrived at the 10 others, about 115,000 meal packs had been distributed. Some were vegetarian, satisfying the Food and Drug Administration, which has jurisdiction over nonmeat imports, spokeswoman Kimberly Rawlings said.


No, I think that the following probably happened. The 'Standard' NATO Rations From the UK arrived in Arkansas as requested by the State Department. They were then being distributed to the relieve centers, some were the opened and inspected by the FEMA officials and the offending British Chocolate Bars were discovered. A communication from FEMA was then passed directly to the highest levels of the Federal Government about the Chocolate bars. Other political discussions about accepting aid from overseas were also being discussed because it apparently made the Federal Government (Whitehouse) appear weak and incompetent in the eyes of its own citizens in the affected states as the evacuees tuck into British Rations (Should have been US made MREs). The Rations were then ordered to be destroyed because the British made NATO ration were just too British. This information that the rations were going to be destroyed then got to out to the relief agencies who kicked up an almighty fuss because of the insanity of letting hungry people go even more hungry. We then got the USDA involvement with their so called BSE excuse. Exactly how much BSE is in Israeli fruit juice - None. But I bet you it indicated where the fruit juices origin was. This fruit juice was also destroyed as were many other international aid food items.

International Aid is always politically loaded - Hence every bag of grain aid given to the so called '3rd World' from the US States 'A gift from the People of the United States of America'. I suppose it was not politically acceptable to be on the receiving end this time around for the most powerful nation on earth.



Edited by bentirran (04/13/07 08:28 PM)

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#91063 - 04/13/07 08:11 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: ]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Gads, you really are a nutcase.
Where is that button...ah, here it is. *click*
POSTER NOW IGNORED

-Blast

_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#91067 - 04/13/07 08:43 PM Re: $40 Million Worth of MRE's Wasted by FEMA [Re: Blast]
norad45 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
Originally Posted By: Blast
Gads, you really are a nutcase.
Where is that button...ah, here it is. *click*
POSTER NOW IGNORED

-Blast



I didn't know there was an "ignore" feature here. Thanks!

"Click". Hot damn--that was satisfying!

BTW, I love your blog. Watch out for those flood-addled tarantulas! grin

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