Get unlimited digital access to $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Criticism of storm response unfair

At some point within the past several weeks we have all stopped and asked, "What in the world has happened to Maryland, New Jersey and along the East Coast?" Although Maryland side-stepped catastrophic damage and is, for the most part, back to "pre-Sandy" conditions, there are still places on the East Coast without power, transportation infrastructure and/or potable water. My prayers are with those who continue to endure these horrid conditions and I can only imagine the thoughts in their heads.

The recent media reportage of the government's response to Hurricane Sandy is disingenuous at best. Those affected by the storm are neither downtrodden nor forgotten. They are not left to their own devices, nor are they left without any means to recoup what they have lost, and it is an insult to claim that the first responders, both at the local and state level, have done nothing to help their communities. As someone who has spent the last 10 years in the field of emergency and disaster management, and as one of the first government employees to step foot into the Gulf Coast region in 2005 just after Hurricane Katrina, I say let's consider this more rationally.

For those who are not aware, there are a series of intricate federal statutes that govern the "who, what, where, when and how" of emergency response. The Code of Federal Regulations 44, The Robert T. Stafford Act and the National Response Plan (to name a few), all have certain provisions and conditions that must be met before the "magic switch" can be triggered to allow the federal government to assist in a disaster. In the case of Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley made a justified and keen decision to request a pre-disaster declaration from President Barack Obama, (which was approved prior to landfall), that allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to begin to deploy assets, supplies and personnel within storm damaged areas.

In addition, FEMA employees also deserve our support, thanks and gratitude. In many cases, FEMA personnel responded from around the country, and those disaster assistance employees left their families, some with less than 12 hour notification, and deployed to the East Coast to assist in helping fellow Americans rebuild and resume their lives.

So before we bash FEMA, MEMA or any other government agency for the manor and speed in which they are helping us, maybe we should stop and thank them. You would be surprised what a well-deserved "thank you" will accomplish.

Brendan P. Gill, Savage

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Obama was there for New Jersey when superstorm Sandy hit

    Regarding letter writer D.B. Herman's claim that President Obama was "nowhere near" the disaster area after Hurricane Sandy, Is it possible he did not see the president with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie inspecting the destruction both from the air and on the ground ("Obama's disastrous...

  • Obama has failed Sandy victims

    What business does President Barack Obama have in sticking our nose in every other country's problems, and losing our heroic men and women daily to war, when we do not have the resources to help our own citizens on the Eastern Seaboard when Hurricane Sandy came through wiping out entire towns?

  • O'Malley could get a boost in South Carolina
    O'Malley could get a boost in South Carolina

    I was having breakfast at a pancake house in Chesnee, S.C. and heard that former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley was somewhere in South Carolina, too, but when I asked the folks sitting next to me, they said they didn't know who that was. That's too bad because the people here represent a lot...

  • Housing for Millennials
    Housing for Millennials

    I read your article on young people moving to Baltimore, and you are probably surprised to know that Millennials still read the newspaper ("As apartments boom in city, a new market reality emerges," Feb. 27). I just had a few comments.

  • Sun's anti-Israel bias shines through
    Sun's anti-Israel bias shines through

    Again, The Baltimore Sun shows its inability to be unbiased when it comes to Israel ("Netanyahu's pointless speech," March 4). Perhaps it is really blatant anti-Semitism at work, as it has been for a number of years covering the Middle East and conflicts there. The editorial and especially...

  • Needed: Another advocate for women like Mikulski
    Needed: Another advocate for women like Mikulski

    After reading the article regarding Sen. Barbara Mikulski by Luke Broadwater, Erin Cox and Yvonne Wenger ("Mikulski remembered as plain-speaking trailblazer for women in politics," March 3) praising her lifelong hard work, I felt compelled to write.

  • Boehner couldn't be doing a better job — of helping Democrats
    Boehner couldn't be doing a better job — of helping Democrats

    It's just a few weeks into the new era of "Republican control" of Congress, and who could have predicted how things would turn out? It was just back in November when the pundits were endlessly pontificating about the demise of the Democratic Party, and now look how the tables have turned. It...

  • Gun ban in Howard makes sense
    Gun ban in Howard makes sense

    The effort by three members of the Howard County Council to keep unauthorized people carrying guns from bringing them onto Howard County government property is a common sense safety measure that keeps an important, if emotional issue before the public ("Howard councilmembers to consider weapons...