Vol. 3, Issue 21, October 18, 2005
Dr. Watson Cures All.
The Sleaze

Investigation Finds FEMA Better Prepared Against Godzilla Than Hurricanes

A independent media investigation has found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency in five years poured at least $330 million into programs designed to prepare the nation against threats deemed "rather unlikely," at the expense of preparation against conventional disasters such as fires, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.

"One has to seriously question the value of spending millions on such programs as developing asteroid-proof roofing tiles, or bulletproof baby carriages," said Harvey Prentiss, of the Sentinel media group, which conducted the investigation. "But frankly I think the whole "Godzilla" prevention program takes the cake."

Documents unveiled by the Sentinel reveal that for some reason, FEMA's principal concern has been the invasion of giant radioactive monsters from off the coast of Japan. FEMA has devoted over $250 million towards preparing for such an event, including a $38 million study designed to assess whether Paul Bunyan would be a suitable recruit in defending against such creatures.

"Yes, well, we do the best we can with the directives we get," admitted Mary Taylor, a regional FEMA coordinator who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisal from her superiors. "But I won't deny that some of these programs haven't exactly inspired us with confidence." There have in fact been mass defections of qualified personnel from FEMA recently; a 2004 survey by the American Federation of Government Employees found that 80% of remaining employees said FEMA had become "a poorer agency" since being shifted into the Bush-created Department of Homeland Security.

"It is easy to point fingers after episodes like Katrina," said ousted FEMA chief Michael Brown. "But New Orleans could just as easily have been destroyed by a giant fire-breathing moth-creature of some kind. If that had happened, we'd be heroes for investing $50 million in that giant freezing ray. You just can't prepare for every contingency."

While FEMA has come under fire for all these programs, the Paul Bunyan project has particularly captured the imagination of a public already angry with the agency's apparent waste and inefficiency. Because there are no objective measurements of either the mythical giant lumberjack or the giant radioactive monsters against which he would allegedly fight, three military satellites have been launched to search for him and use Doppler radar to more accurately measure his height; meanwhile, the RAND Institute has been hired to watch every Godzilla movie made and derive objective estimates of all the monsters therein using known landmarks as points of comparison.

"No point in hiring Bunyan if it turns out he's only half the size of the monsters," said Brown. "Doing a little research ahead of time will help us avoid costly mistakes later. See, that's the kind of planning we don't get enough credit for. People don't have a clear picture of what we're all about."

"I think the picture of FEMA is getting clearer by the day," said Prentiss. "Unfortunately."


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