"Do not ship another meal.
Your contract is terminated."
This was the simple, two-line email a rep from FEMA sent to Tiffany Brown, owner and sole operator of Tribute Contracting.
Shortly after Hurricane Maria relief efforts were underway, Tribute Contracting was awarded a FEMA contract to deliver 30 million meals to Puerto Rico. The contract was for $156 million. This was one of many contracts FEMA made to aid Puerto Rico.
Only 0.25% of those meals were delivered – roughly 50,000. Is your jaw on the floor? Mine was.
What truly went wrong is anybody’s guess, but it stinks of bureaucratic buggery – the kind that starves, dehydrates and kills innocent civilians.
Currently, members of the Senate want to question FEMA as to why they awarded such a large contract to a one-person operation with a public annual revenue of $1000.
According to the US Government Publishing Office, Brown’s Tribute Contracting was determined ineligible to pursue government contracts until 2019, due to a canceled contract with the federal prison system.
This flagging or banning of Tribute Contracting also stated that no agency would be allowed to contract with the company for more than $35,000.
Seems like a huge problem that FEMA overlooked right? FEMA claims that Government Publishing Office rules do not apply to them.
OK, this nonsense is making me sick.
Tiffany Brown did at least provide some interesting detail to this story. She recorded a phone conversation with FEMA reps. In it, FEMA admits that other contractors were turned away after signing contracts because they were unable to deliver heater-meals with heaters in the same package. Many vendors provided the meals and heaters in separate packages.
This article is not about my opinion on self-heating meals. But really, what gives? Food is food. When the starving need it, it’s our patriotic duty to step up. But the government is incapable of doing so because it demands efficiency. In the process, they end up with catastrophic failure.
In Tiffany Brown’s recording you can hear a FEMA employee saying:
The meal and the heater is in one package because there is no way we expect Puerto Rico to basically go to one box and grab a heater and go to another box and grab a meal. So yes, we asked you to turn them around for the logistics of Puerto Rico and the survivors. (emphasis mine)
Incredible. To summarize: We, the government, refuse to help our people in the name of LOGISTICS!
This is the same FEMA that sent chocolate bars, cookies, potato chips, expired military meals and more to the same devastated people in Puerto Rico. I hardly believe logistics is the real reason why they’re refusing to help the people who need it most.
This is why, we, the people, the true patriots, are the only ones that can provide help in a crisis.
It starts with preparing for ourselves and our families first. But as we build out our plans and spread the preparedness message, we won’t need FEMA’s help anymore. Much good they’ve done us anyway. We’ve learned that repeatedly through Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and Maria. It’s my hope we become strong enough to say good riddance to FEMA once and for all.
We have work to do. More on that in a moment.
Meanwhile, more government is making a mess of trying to untangle the mess that is FEMA.
They’re investigating – another redundant inefficiency. No need for that - The very head of FEMA, Brock Long went on record just after Christmas. He urged all Americans to understand three truths:
- FEMA is broke.
- The system is broken.
- If this is the new normal, Americans can't rely on a federal cavalry when disaster strikes. They will have to take care of themselves.
UPDATE: On 5/16/18, Long told Florida's Governor's Conference on Hurricanes that state and local emergency personnel could not count on FEMA for supplies and assistance in a timely manner. He said:
If you don’t have the ability to do things such as provide your own food and water and your own commodities to your citizens for the first 48 to 72 hours...I can’t guarantee that we can be right on time to backfill everything you need.
Administrator Long’s first two points illustrate that these kinds of bad financial decisions and inefficiencies are the reason for FEMA’s death spiral.
His third and most important point is something we can all act on now.
Remember this mantra:
We are only as strong as the least-prepared person we know and love.
Whenever something big that affects preparedness hits the headlines, one of my first questions is: What do they know that I don’t?
Long’s statement was made in the wake of one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in recent memory. But I’m assuming he intended his admission of failure to cover all response to natural disasters.
What else is the federal government not prepared to handle?
Many of my friends and fellow preppers believe that our weakness in emergency response could be exploited. Those trying to do us harm could take advantage to launch attacks – cyber, military, terrorist – and inflict major damage.
I sincerely hope that never happens. But the thought experiment illustrates the urgent need for us to ramp up our efforts and vigilance this year.
Here’s another thought experiment: the official start of hurricane season is June 1. Early forecasts are predicting another highly active season. That’s 16 weeks away. It may seem far off, but it will be here just as fast as those Atlantic winds. Take the opportunity now to secure water and food for your family. Don’t allow yourself to be one of the millions caught without. The government has come out and told us they will not rescue us, and their record proves it.
Please, take additional steps toward preparedness today. You won’t regret it.
I encourage you to take stock and inventory of your preps.
Consider what would make a difference if the worst happened.
Then take steps to increase and build out your plans.
If you need guidance, you know you can always call. Our preparedness advisors are standing by. Call 866.229.0927.
Have a great weekend friends. Stay vigilant and spread the word!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply