The apparent success of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at combating the negative effects of Hurricane Irene proves that a large federal government can work, according to The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. The Heritage Foundation's Matt Mayer, however, views FEMA's response as another example of wasteful government spending.
“Don’t expect anybody to throw a tea party, but Big Government finally got one right,” Milbank writes.
Milbank cites the success of NOAA at tracking the path of the storm. He also noted that FEMA helped with “food, water, generators and tarps” along the storm's path. Also, in North Carolina, FEMA provided a power generator to local authorities, and in Vermont, provided a FEMA facility to the state emergency operations center after their own facility was without power. more >>
Many communities along the East Coast were spared major damage from Hurricane Irene, but with millions still affected, pastors are stepping in to make sure the church doesn’t stay cooped up and instead makes an impact in the storm’s aftermath.
The impact that Irene had on churches this past weekend varies from one area to another. After the skies cleared and the seas began to calm along the shore, some pastors opened up to describe what Irene left behind and what they are doing to help.
The North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church always keeps a disaster response plan in place, allowing them to quickly organize and mobilize in case of an emergency. more >>
Irene has come and gone, but it will take days, weeks and even months for the Eastern seaboard to recover from the devastation the hurricane left in its wake.
That includes at least 45 deaths attributed to Irene across 13 states. And up to $6 billion in insured losses, according to catastrophe modeling company AIR Worldwide.
The 13 states that found themselves in Irene’s path struggle to return to normalcy. more >>
As the East Coast cleans up after Irene, and tropical storm Katia is gaining momentum to possibly become a hurricane, Bank of America has plans to help fund relief for the 2011 hurricane season.
The nation's largest bank in terms of deposits, BofA announced on Monday that it is making a donation of $250,000 in support of the American Red Cross Disaster Fund for the 2011 hurricane season. Currently funds from the donation are aiding those who have been affected by hurricane Irene, which has caused damage from North Carolina to New England.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this hurricane and the resulting floods that have caused significant damage along the East Coast," said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "We are pleased to assist the American Red Cross as they help families transition through this difficult time." more >>
Commentators and analysts have made the argument in recent days that the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene will boost the economy as people are put to work repairing the damage. However, some economists point out that destroying things of value does not usually create wealth.
“Hurricane Irene might have provided some short-term economic stimulus as billions of dollars will likely be spent to repair the damage to the East Coast over the weekend,” Josh Boak wrote for Politico Sunday.
Imagine, for instance, that a business lost the roof to its factory in the hurricane. The loss of the roof, under Boak's reasoning, actually helps the economy because roof repairers would get extra business. more >>
As Tropical Storm Katia continues to strengthen in the Atlantic, victims of Hurricane Irene are concerned that FEMA's low disaster relief fund will not be able to handle another natural disaster.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Katia is expected to be near hurricane strength late Wednesday or early Thursday. Similar to Hurricane Irene, Katia could cause damage to the Caribbean but experts are not sure yet if the U.S. is at risk.
Even if Katia misses the U.S., hurricane season is far from over. more >>