back to article Uncle Sam's disaster agency FEMA creates disaster of its own: 2.3 million survivors' personal records spilled

Disaster relief org FEMA has admitted, conveniently on a Friday night, to accidentally leaking banking details and other personal information of 2.3 million hurricane and wildfire survivors. The US government's Federal Emergency Management Agency picked the end-of-the-week bad-news dump time slot to let the public know that …

  1. GrapeBunch

    FEMA - hospital slang for Failed EneMA.

    Zees never happened. I was never here.

    Sorry, I don't have a coat. And I was never here.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: FEMA - hospital slang for Failed EneMA.

      I always thought it was known as Failure to Effectively Manage Anything.

  2. Conundrum1885


    Isn't this the same FEMA that has a zombie pandemic plan?

    1. revenant

      Re: FEMA

      I don't know about FEMA, but the CDC put out a pdf comic on disaster preparation -

      Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic

      I came across it yesterday on a knackered Kindle I was trying to fix

      1. Groaning Ninny

        Re: FEMA

        That's actually very good! Shows a little about being prepared, and about how the CDC would respond to an outbreak of a new disease. Nicely done.

  3. sitta_europea Silver badge

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    It's the perfect government agency

    Republicans hate it because helping people in a disaster without making a profit is basically communism and anyway if their trailer park is flooded couldn't they just stay at their lake cottage for a while

    Democrats hate is because it exits to give massive contracts to companies like Haliburton but then not actually deliver any help

    1. Fatman

      Re: It's the perfect government agency

      <quote>Republicans hate it because helping people in a disaster without making a profit is basically communism defined as socialism (which can not ever be tolerated) and anyway if their trailer park is flooded couldn't they just stay at their lake cottage for a while.</quote>



    2. Crisp

      Re: helping people in a disaster without making a profit is basically communism

      I've never understood how americans can quite happily pay into a communal pot for fire services and police services and not be charged for service of each individual incident. Yet universal healthcare is somehow of the devil.

  5. RobThBay

    "FEMA is no longer sharing unnecessary data with the contractor and has conducted a detailed review of the contractor’s information system."

    That's hilarious! Put the ones that caused the mess in charge of reviewing the outfit that everything was leaked to.

    Is FEMA run by one of presidiot Trump's really smart friends? You know, the friends that are almost smart as he is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Strangely the guy running it was an actual expert with 20 years of experience at FEMA

      Naturally he was fired for using a government car to commute to home and has been replaced by an acting flunky

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not helping

    What was the line---

    "We are not here to help but you will not die in vain."

  7. beep54

    So screwed

    What is wrong with the 'leadership' of both the USA and Britain? Why are we electing idiots?? And it is not just us.

  8. S_W

    FEMA has found no indicators to suggest survivor data has been compromised

    Except, you know, FEMA compromising it by sending it to an unauthorised 3rd party.

  9. adam payne

    "As an added measure, FEMA instructed contracted staff to complete additional DHS [Department of Homeland Security] privacy training,"

    Select these columns here and then click export. These other ones over here in red do not touch, ever.

  10. hayzoos

    Contracted staff - additional privacy training

    Data leaked to a contractor, contracted staff getting additional training, updated contracts; sounds like all actual FEMA employees do is manage contracts. Contractor systems are to meet federal privacy/security guidelines due to updated contracts, watching the horse gallop towards the sunset as you close the barn door. Are FEMA systems meeting these guidelines? We may never know if the situation is like that of the EPA where it's vulnerability assessment report has a gag order.

    I am waiting for the underfunded IRS to reveal it has leaked all taxpayer info; tax IDs (aka SSNs), bank account info (for direct deposit of refunds), addresses, earnings, names of course, occupations, marital status, etc. Of course, certain records under audit scrutiny are better protected such as a certain NYC real estate mogul.

    They might as well just say "oops, our bad" via twitter and go about doing whatever it was they were up to.

  11. a_yank_lurker Silver badge


    FEMA is a much maligned feral agency for its general incompetence at is supposed to its core mission. So another feral screwup is not surprising.

    There are several standing jokes over here about emergency situations. One is to check how much plywood Home Depot and Lowe's (two very large hardware/lumber chains) are stocking up on. Also, they are very capable of moving a large amount of supplies to the affected area post disaster. Another is to check with Wally World about where they are stocking/sending emergency water and food supplies as they have a massive distribution system that is well known to move products quickly cross country. An interesting point, Lowe's, Home Depot, or Wally World never engage in price gouging (raising prices because of the emergency). The last in the Southeast is to call up the local Waffle House (a chain of 24 hr restaurants that never, ever close). If the local Awful Waffle does not answer or is not severing any food the situation is really bad and you have a crisis on your hands there. If they are serving a limited menu, things are rough but not an immediate crisis. If they are serving a full menu, there may be some local issues but overall the situation should be manageable.

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