Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on May 21, 2009 requested preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to evaluate residential, commercial and public losses in Alaska’s flooded interior, most particularly along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers (PDA, 2009, Â¶1).
After state disaster declaration, PDA is the next step in the process for securing a federal disaster declaration and resultant funds (PDA, 2009, Â¶2).
“Two PDA teams, made up of local emergency managers, State of Alaska employees, Small Business Administration workers, and FEMA members, will cover the Yukon River and Kuskokwim River starting in Eagle and working their way to the coast,” Governor Palin said (PDA, 2009, Â¶3).
Governor Palin had visited numerous communities in the affected areas and has made the assessment that the devastation there meets the requirements for a federal declaration of disaster (PDA, 2009, Â¶4).
This is more of a news item than an accomplishment item, especially if it’s just read at face value. The accomplishment item is found by going through the prior entries on this subject. Governor Palin personally and meticulously assessed damage at each of the affected locations. She followed a step-by-step process taking each step when she saw them necessary. Some governors would just knee-jerk and seek out federal funding immediately. Others would freeze and be stuck in “paralysis by analysis” passing the buck and not requesting federal declarations when they should be requested (one need only look back to the antics that went on with the cast of characters involved with Hurricane Katrina — and yes, the Bush Administration flubbed it every bit as much as Louisiana’s governor and New Orleans’ Mayor).
The true measure of a leader is how he or she performs in a crisis. While this disaster is virtually unknown outside of Alaska (Alaskans tend to be self-reliant, which contributes much to the downplay of this story), Governor Palin’s disciplined approach will ensure that any federal disaster funds are spent wisely.
Governor Palin requests preliminary damage assessment from FEMA teams; will evaluate loss and set the stage for federal disaster declaration. (2009, May 21). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved May 22, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1861