An Explanation of My Idea for a National Disaster Review Board

I was asked this evening to summarize my National Disaster Review Board proposal by the folks at Since there is so much interest in the wake of the Lahaina Fire, I'm reposting it here:

I came up with the idea for a National Disaster Review Board (NDRB) after the multi-level fiasco involving Hurricane Sandy.  

Since then, a number of others such as Bill Hooke and two groups have gotten behind the idea. 

The Lahaina Fire and the serious issues with the NWS's tornado warning program are exactly the type of things that would be in the NDRB's wheelhouse. As some of you may know, there have been serious charges leveled against FEMA w/r/t Hurricane Laura and southwest Louisiana. Are they true? I have no idea, nor does anyone else. The NDRB, with its subject matter experts, would be the way to find out. 

In short, the NDRB would be essentially modeled after the hugely successful NTSB. It would,
  • Investigate all major natural disasters.
  • It would have subpoena power. All participants in a particular disaster could be questioned including, say, a private weather company if they were actively involved.
  • They would keep all verification stats of NWS storm warnings. The era of the NWS investigating itself would end. 
  • They would be forbidden, by law, to bring global warming into its investigations. The USA already has two global warming panels that issue reports. We do not need a third. 
  • It would be located anywhere except Washington, DC. It is already hard enough to keep politics out of these things without this agency being located inside the Beltway.
Congress has authorized a number of review boards that are empowered to do investigations (did you know there is a National Chemical Review Board to investigate chemical-related accidents?). It is past time we have one for disasters. 

Rep. Katie Holmes of California dropped a bill in the House to create a board to investigate all disasters, natural, manmade, etc. It hasn't gone anywhere I do not think it will as the scope is just too broad. The expertise pertaining to a mass school shooting is so different from that involving a tsunami. It would also overlap with some of the existing boards' purview. 

The NTSB has no enforcement powers but, because it is so highly respected, most of its recommendations get adopted. I am hoping the same would occur with the NDRB. 

If anyone has any questions, I would be pleased to answer them.

If not, I hope you will write your congressional delegation to lend your support. Writing them is quite easy using the "contact" feature of their respective web pages.


Popular posts from this blog

[1:10am Update] Tornado Forecast for Rest of the Night

First Tornado Watch of the Day Issued

Hilary's Forecast Path Shifts West; Updated 9:20am PDT