From fires to floods, tornadoes to hurricanes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been helping our nation respond to all kinds of natural disasters. And when you add a pandemic and border support to the already large list of demands, it's clear we need to ensure the agency’s success by giving it enough people to handle the increasing workload.
That’s why our union is calling on Congress to fund more full-time employees at FEMA. We’re also asking the Senate to order a study into the staffing issue.
“During our response to this pandemic, we have also had to respond to hurricanes, fires, floods, and the U.S Capitol riots. While we were chosen to lead the support to COVID-19, our traditional role in supporting pandemics was much smaller in scope and aid, usually in hand with the CDC and HHS,” said AFGE National FEMA Local 4060 President Steve Reaves in response to an April 15 hearing before the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to COVID-19 and other challenges.
“This mission has been comprehensive to our members – at times exhausting – and required frequent personal safety questions for our employees and their families as it relates to COVID-19.”
FEMA has roughly 5,000 full-time Title 5 employees to support a nation of 330 million people. As the agency is called on to respond to more disasters, already thin resources are being stretched to the limit.
It’s time for Congress to act and make sure these brave public servants have the staffing levels they need to fulfill their mission.