28 August 2013
By James Smith
In January 2011, Alex Thomas at The Intel Hub broke the news that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had requested 7 million cotton blankets, millions of servings of Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE), and millions of underwater body bags.
History is repeating itself. Because they’re ordering 6 million more blankets, and thousands of gallons of propane, diesel, and gasoline.
Worrisome, because the original requests from January 2011 have been erased from the FBO website. Blankets, body bags, etc. All the information has been deleted from the FBO website.
So much for the most transparent administration in American History.
Let’s start with the blankets, as the body bags have not YET be requested.
In the latest solicitation, FEMA is requesting 6 million blankets. The specifics are as follows:
- Size: 66″ x 90″ Twin size
- Color: White
- Type: 100 percent cotton, woven blanket that has plain weave borders, hemmed edges and is static-resistant, pre-shrunk, autoclavable and machine washable.
While the minimum order that would be only one dozen, the solicitation states that a maximum of 6 million blankets could be ordered.
Assuming that the 7 million blankets ordered in 2011 were the same type as this current order, what happened to them? If the blankets are to be washable and autoclavable, ostensibly to clean and sanitize, where are the 7 million blankets now?
Also, assuming that most were used in recent disasters, were these reusable blankets tossed into the trash? Were they even used? We will never know.
As anyone in the Prepper Community would know, you never use cotton blankets in a crisis/disaster situation because of cotton’s property of leaching body heat from a person, allowing their bodies to become susceptible to hypothermia.
But FEMA doesn’t let facts get in the way. From the FEMA’s Subject Matter Experts explanation of NOT using wool blankets:
1. There is no quantifiable evidence that potential disaster survivors are allergic to cotton, so it should not present any issues with allergic conditions of disaster survivors
2. By securing only white blankets, we should be able to avoid any allergen issues related to dyes
3. The 100% woven cotton blanket as described above and in the solicitation should be sufficient that it can used anywhere FEMA may be asked to provide support Mass Care support/ Emergency Assistance activities during nationally declared emergency responses.
4. Generally sheltering activities are conducted in climate controlled buildings.
5. While such a blanket will assist in retaining an individual’s body heat, if conditions are extremely cold, disaster survivors would be issued more than one blanket per person, and in warmer conditions it should be light weight enough to not be oppressive
Can’t you just feel the love in that response?
The awardee would be required to deliver up to 1 million blankets with 48 hours, and may have to ship blankets to overseas territories in the event of a disaster, such as in Guam.
Moving onto the recent fuel pre-solicitation, FEMA has requested that 100 gallons (maximum of 1000 gallons) of gasoline and diesel, and 250 gallons (maximum 5,000 gallons) a day be supplied to support a 100 person shelter for up to 30 days.
The problem is that most disaster areas have more than 100 people affected. Even a small town could have as many as 2,000 people affected.
And then there is the food requests. Not the requests that SHOULD be found on the Federal Business Online website. No, these are email requests received by emergency food providers:
So instead of following the law, FEMA is doing direct solicitations of capabilities.
Because they know that by directly requesting the information from the actual suppliers, they can assess capabilities, instead of waiting for responses to a solicitation on their website, one that may be missed or ignored. Think of this way, FEMA wants to know a company’s capability ahead of time so they can make a direct purchase in the event some catastrophic event takes place.
And then let’s top this article off with some recent headlines you can find on this site:
As FEMA Director Craig Fugate stated in an interview with The Weather Channel on May 7, 2013:
“People need to be prepared. The biggest challenge in any disaster is the tendency for people to think that somebody else is coming to rescue them when the reality is time and time again we see the closest rescuers are your neighbors. So people who don’t prepare, don’t get ready and aren’t able to help each other, that’s probably our biggest challenge. As we continue to deal with all of the issues we face in government, I think it always comes back to people need to understand they are part of the team and they have a role and we’re going to focus on our job. But we won’t be successful if the public isn’t prepared. “
Please, prepare like your life depends on it. Because, truly, it does.