I often go to NOAA Weather Radar over the course of any 24 hour period. We definitely are not out of the woods for this years tornado attacks by MOTHER NATURE ! Over 600 in April and May totals still unknown.
And of course Hurricane Season starts June 1st with Mississippi River main stem flooding now through 4th of July.
Assuming that there is no catastrophic event between now and November 2012 FEMA will have demonstrated either its basic competence or its problems well before the elections.
Ron Paul states on the record that FEMA creates a moral hazard in its current makeup and should be eliminated. Other candidates unlikely to speak on an issue that is not viewed as outcome determinative for any Presidential candidate even incumbents. But time will tell.
Startling perhaps but in 1992 George H.W. Bush won Florida despite FEMA early on problems in responding to Hurricane Andrew. California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania all states that might just lurch on the national scene because of their disaster prone natures and locations.
Personally I believe that only the tough hard nitty gritty work and good performance of FEMA will save it from the coming reorganization wars expected in a second Obama Administration or a new Republican administration. So it is important this spring to measure as far as possible the skills, competencies, and performance of FEMA as it faces new organizational challenges.
Perhaps strangely, perhaps as a graduate of FEMA’s career service, I think that FEMA should be given the benefit of the doubt and the passage of time since the landfall of Hurricane Katrina is enough to either have repaired a decrepit FEMA [two administrations have had their shot at repair] whether FEMA likes it or not. I view the next catastrophe as being STRIKE THREE for FEMA [Strike one being Hurricane Andrew] or hopefully they will hit a home run. Anything but the latter will probably end the James Earl Carter created organizations history in the Executive Branch.