Proactive management can make all the difference between a crisis averted and utter disaster.  There is one major proactive move our government can make to help all of us be better prepared:  Organize the Senate into Regional Councils that will include the state governors in each region to discuss issues such as water rights, property lines, environment, earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, volcanos, forest fires, drought, et al.   These councils can also address specific configurations, industry issues and education unique to their area and be treated much the same as a committee membership.

More importantly, however, the federal agencies that would be involved in any emergency or crisis should be a part of this Council on an ad hoc basis when their area of responsibility is addressed.  An excellent case can be made that these agencies and departments should be operating primarily on a regional level anyway precisely because of these regional differences.  While some of them are present regionally, past performances indicate regional and local representation is less than optimum and federal sensitivity to local concerns is frankly abysmal.

Organiz­­ations such as

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • Mississippi River Corporation
  • Tennessee Valley Authority

have missions that would be better served if addressed on the regional level if not done already.  Part of these federal agencies’ difficulty in emergencies is they are not current on the latest in the regions, and they do not know enough about the specific needs of that area in order to address the emergency quickly enough.  There are more agencies and more issues that would benefit from a complete and ongoing regional analysis.

However, the point is this:  The Senate can work with federal agencies and State governments to better coordinate and facilitate the lines of communication and personnel during times of crisis and need BEFORE the need arises.   The council structure alone can have far reaching implications in innovative government and creative solutions, such as a regional fire fighting organizations, or regional flood control which expands upon the TVA mission.   This is an opportunity to make our government more responsive on a local level.

Additionally, I KNOW there are readers out there who have actual life experience to make similar suggestions that would improve the world for the rest of us.  Please include them in your comment if you do.

The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.
Thomas Stallkamp

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