How FEMA Solves Problems

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In 2005, Michael Brown was caught with his pants down when FEMA fell short on fulfilling the meal needs of hurricane victims. The new leadership team's solution? Buy lots and lots and lots of meals. And what if there isn't another apocalyptic hurricane? Uhhh…

Up to 6 million prepared meals stockpiled near potential victims of the 2006 hurricane season spoiled in last summer's heat when FEMA ran short of warehouse and refrigeration space.

Hundreds of truckloads of food worth more than $40 million are being thrown away or scavenged for unspoiled contents to be offered to domestic hunger relief groups, FEMA officials said Thursday. Most of the meals were commercial versions of the military's Meals Ready to Eat, which were ruined despite being engineered to withstand the demands of desert and jungle climates.

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  1. …The MRE – in its military packaging – is dmaned near indestructible. I ate ones in Saudi Arabia that had been in place for more than ten years, and they were fine. The limited amount of info here suggests to me that the outer packaging had been breached somehow – I’ll bet $10 that the cardboard cases they come in were left out in the elements for quite some time, or worse yet (and sadly, just as likely) they were opened by FEMA and other resuce support types and again, left outside. Heat and humidity would have done the rest.

    Mike

  2. Don’t you understand!? The problem with FEMA is that it doesn’t have enough money, and that George Bush hates black people!

    If the right people were in charge, this kind of thing wouldn’t happen!

  3. i wonder what wacky things fema will do next?

  4. If only there were some kind of government agency to supervise all the other government agencies, that would fix the problem.

    We need televised hearings!

  5. And what if there isn’t another apocalyptic hurricane?

    Oh, there will be. There will be.

    – Josh

  6. If only there were some kind of government agency to supervise all the other government agencies, that would fix the problem.

    You mean, like a “we fucked up again” czar?

  7. I wonder how many times this has happened to the Red Cross.

  8. “If the right people were in charge, this kind of thing wouldn’t happen!”

    REALLY bad topic to try that talking point out on.

    Maybe the MREs got trampled by an Arabian horse.

    Damn terrorist horses.

  9. No offense, Josh.

    You’re one of the good ones.

  10. Bah. The government sucks at everything.

    Can’t they just subcontract all this crap to WalMart? They have actual working distribution system.

  11. If we would just get carbon under control and stop global warming, the temperatures wouldn’t spoil perfectly good food. And just how far is the warehouse from the rapidly rising ocean?

    This is just a disaster waiting to happen again. I agree that we need more televised hearings AND we need the White House to release any emails related to cold storage.

  12. Well, at least this screw-up was only about 1/20th as costly as the excess trailer one.

  13. which were ruined despite being engineered to withstand the demands of desert and jungle climates

    Because NOTHING is US Gov’t-proof. This must be a corollary of the law that nothing is foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.

  14. Frankly, I’m stunned to find that MREs can spoil.

  15. “You mean, like a ‘we fucked up again’ czar?”

    We need a catchier name, though. Maybe “President”

  16. I paid $7,000+ in federal income taxes today. NIce to see that it is all going to go down some shit hole.

  17. Really, someone needs to figure out how they spoiled MREs… I buy these things all the time (for backpacking) and I’ve stored some in my attic for years.

    Even if you discard the exterior packaging, the interior packaging is still impervious to the elements. It makes no sense.

  18. Well, at least this screw-up was only about 1/20th as costly as the excess trailer one.

    lol

  19. Once again, the goverment’s amazing bargaining powers are on display. A packet of 12 MREs costs $70 (first place I looked on the internet). $70/12 * 6 million meals = $35 million.

    So they paid $5 million more than the going price – it’s a new phenomemon called “volume premiums”, I guess.

  20. What’s next, that the oil in the National Reserve has turned to vinegar?

  21. Or all that gold in Fort Knox is actually lead.

  22. Only the federal government could come up with a way to actually SPOIL an MRE!

    Just wondering… is the company in charge of this the same one in charge of the truckloads of ice that went everywhere except to where it was needed?

  23. Perhaps a lovely meat and cheese platter will do nicely. You can get it with a slightly spicy pepper roast beef. The muenster cheese is also very good.

    The other day while walking along Clark street in the River North area, I noticed some prefab-looking condos that seemed to sprout up like mushrooms.

    Changing the body and hand positions while doing pushups varies the exercise and keeps it fresh and fun. Do this only after you can do 25-30 comfortably. 50 comfortably is a good target.

    Berlin is an amazing city. Being there when the wall was still up, being there when the wall was open (but still two Berlins) and pounding out pieces was a rush. Even seeing how it’s changed over the years as one city is amazing.

    Vienna is magical, but Berlin has that special something.

    Anchor Steam Beer is very tasty. It’s a favorite. Getting it on tap is always a treat. Pilsner Urquell is also tasty out of the keg. I can’t wait until Budvar is readily available. (Czechvar, I guess). That’s very tasty out of the keg.

    Blunzngr?stl with a Zipfer Urtyp or a Budvar is a tasty combination.

    Twisted Sister really had some fun videos from back in the day. But their most bland video, “The Price” is probably the song with the most potential. I would have preferred more verse, less chorus. Think: “Radio Free Europe”, where you don’t hit the chorus until 1:20. Contrast that with the “Monty Got a Raw Deal” – cool first 18 seconds. Makes you wish that Document got erased in a power outage.

    Whenever I’d be on the train in Europe, I’d always enjoy hanging out with Swedes, Aussies, and Israelis the most. Always the best crowds. I do have the most fun hanging out with the Israelis, because we are each other’s nations only friends in the world. One really cool guy was affected by the pizzeria bombing in Haifa. That was really sad.

    Thinking of that, the Synagogue in the Grosse Schiffgasse – crossing the Salztor bridge and seeing where the Gestapo HQ was (Hotel Metropol) at Morzinplatz still gives me a sick feeling, even though I’ve walked that route countless times.

    Watching the police roust the skinheads outside of the bar Vulcana really gave some wonderful, wonderful schadenfreude. It doesn’t take away any of those other horrible things, but it felt good for a second.

    “Parallel”, “Come Join Us”, “Them and Us” and “Cease” are the best songs on the Gray Race.

    “Fletch Won” is coming out soon. Hopefully that’ll have some of the touches of the classic. oh yeah!

    I’M THE JUGGERNAUT!!!!!!!!!

  24. Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale?

  25. <walken>I will solve him repeatedly in the head with a tire iron.</walken>

  26. VM – I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Well Spake!

  27. [passes Twin Cities Mike the matches…]

  28. VM, TwinCities, Cab….wtf are you talking about???

  29. I paid $7,000+ in federal income taxes today. NIce to see that it is all going to go down some shit hole.

    Don’t worry… Some of it will be spent on worth causes… Like adding you to a watch list if you buy too much cold medicine.

  30. … the MRE’s spoiled because they were left in trailer-trucks parked outdoors for many months (mostly in Selma, Alabama). Storage temperatures routinely exceeded 100 degrees F — sometimes reaching 120+ degrees.

    DOD specifications say MRE’s are only good for one month if stored at 120 degrees.

    MRE’s are good for 3 years at 80 degrees.

    Probably good for 10 years at 50 degrees.

    {The full Washington Post article has these details)

    _______

  31. I say, Nordic Ruminant, oh Great Antlered One, I truly enjoyed your stream of consciousness essay.

    I too have enjoyed the trip thru Euroland on trains.

    Yes, the ‘strylyuns. Oi speak the language, dahn’t ya knaow?

    And the locals. I love the pijin Italian and French exchanges. I have never managed German, though. I don’t know why that is, since, after all, it is the land of my ancestors. That is, except for the Bertrams but then we changed the spelling just to poke a stick in the eye of those froggy bastards. That’ll show ’em, eh? Oops, goin’ into Canadian mode there, can’t have that, can we?

  32. Hard to imagine semi-trailers full of sellable cargo sitting for months in Selma Alabama unmolested.

    FEMA= Friends Enjoying Mismanaged Assets

  33. Couldn’t they have put the FEMA food with the FEMA ice?

  34. One wacky thing FEMA did recently was declare that my townhouse is in a “special” flood hazard area. Now I may need to get flood insurance.

  35. good times, IB!! Good times!

    (and it’s double extra wonderful kickin’ cuz it’s the chance to exploit their socialism!)

    “That’ll show ’em, eh? Oops, goin’ into Canadian mode there, can’t have that, can we?”

    hey – we’re being international here! Canada is good! 🙂

    zero – irony – that you live in “Hill Mountain”?

  36. I don’t live in “Hill Mountain” but my house is a good 2 – 3 miles from the nearest river and at least 200 feet above it.

  37. so insurance at the point of a bayonet. This citizen would believe that you are better equipped to make that decision…

    since obvious “low risk due to topographical considerations” aren’t considered…

    the mind boggles!

  38. Frankly, I’m stunned to find that MREs can spoil.

    I’m surprised you can tell the difference.

    Idea for alternate history novel: What if FEMA was in charge of D-Day.

    I just finished sending in my 1040 as well. [barf]

  39. And to think, just 10 years ago, “The X-Files” played FEMA up as a sinister, all-encompassing part of the government’s evil plan to sell us all out to oily invaders.

    Oh, wait.

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