While Texas Governor Rick Perry has been whining that his state has not received enough money from the federal government for firefighting assistance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been quietly shipping mega-bucks to his state. Here is a list of 25 FEMA Fire Management Assistance declarations and grants for the state of Texas since January 1, 2011:
These FEMA grants for the state of Texas, whose Governor has flirted with the idea of seceding from the United States, cover 75 percent of the state’s costs for firefighting. The amount of federal money given to Texas for fires this year is not yet known, since the costs are still being incurred and the state has not submitted all of their claims for financial assistance to the federal government.
These grants are for specific incidents and are different from FEMA’s Major Disaster Declarations, one of which has not been approved for the Texas fires this year. Those are not awarded as often as the Fire Management Assistance grants, but Texas has received 16 of them since 2000. In fact, Texas has benefited more than any other state from federal Major Disaster Declarations.
Here is a list of the ten states that have had the most FEMA Major Disaster Declarations since 1953:
We feel for the families of the two firefighters that died while fighting fires in Texas recently, and we have sympathy for the individuals that have lost property in the fires. But if and when Texas secedes from the United States as threatened and either forms their own country or becomes a Mexican state, they will have to find a new source for bailing them out of their costs for fires, floods, and hurricanes.
And perhaps, while asking other U.S. taxpayers for money, Texas should reconsider the bill that passed both houses of their legislature that cuts the funding of the Texas Forest Service’s Wildfire and Emergency Program by more than 30%. Or, maybe they should use the $2 billion rainy day fund they are sitting on.