People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Brownie’s heckuva job consulting

Posted by schroeder915 on November 25, 2005

Arabian horse’s ass and fired FEMA director Michael Brown has advice for disaster planners in his new disaster consulting firm: Appearances are more important than actual results.

Officials need to “take inventory” of what’s going on in a disaster to be able to answer questions to avoid appearing unaware of how serious a situation is.

Your job as a disaster planner is choir leader. Don’t get involved in the details. If people didn’t prepare for the unthinkable, that’s just their own fault:

Hurricane Katrina showed how bad disasters can be, and there’s an incredible need for individuals and businesses to understand how important preparedness is.

Here are more of Michael Brown’s recommendations gleaned from his own experience:

  • Roll up your sleeves to make it look like you’re working.
  • Complaints of rustic public toilet facilities should not be heeded. Being close to nature is next to Godliness.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to dine and relax.
  • When the going gets tough, blame the victims for becoming victims.
  • Domestic concerns like finding a pet-sitter should take precedence over disaster relief.
  • Be wary of private contributions of material and services — give yourself at least a few days before you decide to accept anything.
  • Don’t take seriously warnings of people dying and serious riots due to lack of food, water, and shelter — that’s just whining. It’ll pass in a few days after people get used to the conditions. Just tell your colleagues you’re taking their concerns into consideration.
  • Have a large wardrobe on hand. You’ll want to change attire often for dinner engagements and photo ops. Nordstroms recommended.
  • Have a makeup person on hand for photo ops.
  • Whatever you do, don’t send supplies directly into a disaster area. Instead, have them sent to as wide a distribution area as possible.
  • Don’t waste your time with news — it’s biased and can make things seem worse than they really are.
  • Keep in mind that you won’t want to go directly into a disaster area because there won’t be any fast food burger joints open.
  • Problems happen. When attention starts to focus on you, complain about how hard your job is. Asking subordinates when you can quit is a good tactic and may also boost morale.

Michael Brown’s emails can be read in pdf form at CNN.


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