Yesterday, we discussed the foolish decision of Ohio Governor John Kasich to reject federal help for the number of towns in Ohio that were literally wiped off the map by a tornado. “We can handle this ourselves,” he swaggered. Twenty four hours later, we have this:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday reconsidered his rejection of federal help in tornado-stricken communities and asked federal inspectors to assess the damage as soon as possible.
A team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to arrive Tuesday in Clermont County to survey the storm damage and determine whether the region qualifies for financial or logistical assistance.
“Hopefully we can get a quick answer from the federal inspectors on what additional resources might be available to help people begin recovering,” Kasich said.
The decision to invite the inspectors came two days after Kasich said he would not seek immediate federal disaster relief because he was confident Ohio could handle the crisis.
Rob Nichols, a spokesman for the governor, said the decision to invite FEMA was made after Kasich reviewed the findings of state emergency management officials and developed “a firm understanding of the problem.” Nichols said Kasich had never ruled out asking for federal help but wanted to wait until state inspectors had done their own assessment.
These are the stupidest damned people on the planet. The entire reason FEMA exists is to handle these sorts of situations because states simply do not have the resources necessary. It’s not something you need to think about, not something you need to have a “firm understanding of,” it’s something you do automatically. The ability of FEMA to do their job requires immediate action and coordination. A hurricane crushes your coast, the first thing you do BEFORE the storm hits is call and plan with FEMA on their possible response and have them pre-position assets. A tornado wipes out multiple towns, you are on the phone immediately trying to coordinate a response. These are your citizens, for christ sakes. This is a no-brainer.
It’s like Kasich is personally trying to prove the old quip that as soon as you make something idiot proof, they build a better idiot. Heckuva job, Ohio!