On Aug. 24, the Federal Emergency Management Agency put out a contract (solicitation number HSFE70-16-Q-0034) for 5 million bottles of water. FEMA is the preparedness arm of the government, so on the surface, there’s nothing really unusual about them wanting bottles of water for an emergency.
However, if you read the solicitation carefully, you’ll notice FEMA asked to have the bottles of water delivered within 48 hours to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. That’s a pretty short amount of time to get 5 million bottles of water loaded onto trucks and shipped to Alabama.
I have no idea who won the contract and if they were able to deliver the water within two days. But I do know this request raises a lot of questions.
I could go down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole and say the government is preparing for a huge crisis they’re trying to keep secret from the public. But I honestly don’t think that’s true in this particular instance.
No, I believe FEMA is preparing for all of the people who could be displaced because of flooding or other natural disasters. After all, it is hurricane season, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we’re currently in the midst of the “season within the season” — a roughly eight-week period that is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity.
The absurdly short 48-hour turnaround is likely a result of government incompetence. Someone probably dropped the ball and forgot to order the water ahead of time. So FEMA had to scramble and put out a contract that needed to be fulfilled immediately.
Obviously, I can’t say for sure if this is the case. But in my time with the government, I worked alongside many different agencies and — I know this won’t come as a surprise to you — I witnessed government incompetence in every organization. There isn’t a single government agency that’s immune to it.
This is why I tell people that in an emergency situation, you never, ever want to rely on the government. You have to be self-sufficient and able to provide enough food and water for your family to outlast the crisis. The last place you want to be is standing in a mile-long line for a measly gallon of water or stuck in a crowded FEMA camp. What’s more, these camps tend to attract criminals, because crooks know the camps are full of desperate people who are easy to take advantage of.
But you can avoid all this with just a little bit of preparation. So if you don’t already have your 72-hour kits ready and plenty of water on hand, I would change that ASAP.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to place my life in the hands of some inept government employee. I want to be able to take care of myself and my family, and that’s exactly what I’m prepared for.
In the event of a crisis, I won’t need to rely on anyone else for food or water. In fact, I’ll be in the unique position to help others in need because I’ve assembled more than enough supplies for my own family.