The United States Congress has just passed a bill instructing FEMA to better prepare for “mass fatalities” in the event of a natural disaster or man-made event. While this seems prudent for any emergency preparedness organization, the specific wording of the bill gives pause for concern.
In it, Congress amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and requires the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency liaise with ”representatives from different communities, private sector businesses, non-profit organizations, and religious organizations,…” in order to prepare for “funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuaries [to] be overwhelmed…”
Do we really need a Congressional bill for this? What do they know that they are not warning us of? Over the last few years, we’ve seen several laws passed and orders made that should make us question what is going on:
“This is just one of those things that makes the stomach turn: the people who brought us the National Defense Authorization Act (authorizing the detention of US citizens on US soil) now deem it prudent to prepare for mass fatalities on US soil,” writes Simon Black.
Source: Gov Track - Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act
112th Congress, 2011–2012. Text as of Sep 28, 2012 (Introduced).
HR 6566 IH
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Emergency preparedness often plans for how to prepare and provide for survivors of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster, but fails to plan for how to prepare for and respond to mass fatalities that result from such an incident.
(2) Funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuaries could be overwhelmed should mass fatalities arise from a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster.
(3) Different religions have different customs surrounding death; for example, the Jewish and Muslim religions call for burial of the deceased not later than 48 hours after death.
SEC. 3. PREPAREDNESS FOR MASS FATALITIES RESULTING FROM A NATURAL DISASTER, ACT OF TERRORISM, OR OTHER MAN-MADE DISASTER.
Section 504 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 314) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘(c) Preparedness for Mass Fatalities- In carrying out this section, the Administrator shall provide guidance to and coordinate with appropriate individuals, including representatives from different communities, private sector businesses, non-profit organizations, and religious organizations, to prepare for and respond to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster that results in mass fatalities.’.
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