- Our society, as a whole, has no surge protection - no ability to take shocks. We have no excess beds, no excess equipment, no excess ability to produce vaccines or medicines, nothing. Everybody has worshipped at the altar of efficiency for so long that they don't understand that if you don't have extra capacity you have no ability to deal with unexpected events. (IW)
- As we have now seen with Hurricane Katrina, even if the capacity were there, the United States’ ability to manage and allocate that capacity is essentially non-existent. (CH)
- Because our society and economy is so much more integrated and so much more connected (for example the flu had to spread by ship back then), and so much more "just on time" that it isn't really a model you can use. We'll likely get hit harder, faster and because many locations have such limited inventories, relying on getting it as they need it, the supply disruptions are likely to be much worse.
- In an emergency, a distributed piece of information calls for a central response. A disaster, the converse. Those best informed are in the field; those best equipped, in the field. The best disaster response system is the one in your hand when the disaster strikes.
- But the changes needed to make things better are politically painful and resistent by incumbent powers. ... I suspect that central committees will determine we need more central response systems, and weaken the economy by taxing everyone hard to pay for it. The exact opposite of the medicine a “network edge” response would dictate.
- Inability of FEMA to work with medical professionals unless they are part of the National Disaster Medical Team. Inability of FEMA to orchestrate external / autonomous agents. (Overlawyered Blog, via Ernie the Attorney)
- Inability of FEMA to provide appropriate support for people with special needs. Inability of FEMA to collaborate with agencies with specialist knowledge and resources. (Conmergence Blog)
The FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina