WASHINGTON (AP) Officials at The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) are shifting into high gear with preparations for Hurricane Wilma. Not to get caught unprepared like it was for previous disasters, FEMA has ordered hundreds of trucks carrying ice to start wandering around the country. This morning the first shipment of bagged ice from Arizona was already on its way to a remote native village in Alaska.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, "We are taking into account the possibility that Hurricane Wilma might change course and hit Alaska. That's never happened before, but we don't want to get caught with our pants down!"
Previously burned by the high cost of trucking ice around the country, FEMA now maintains its own fleet of refrigerated trucks and the ice plants that supply them. "We know we can run an ice business and trucking line much more efficiently than any of the outfits we used to deal with. Now we make ice year round so we can keep those trucks rolling on the interstates. We are also in negotiations to buy our own refinery so that we will have our own source of diesel fuel for our ice trucks. FEMA is slowly becoming a world leader in ice production," said Secretary Chertoff.
Congress has approved the use of US Coast Guard icebreakers to chip off huge icebergs in the arctic and tow them to Chicago. FEMA officials are planning to use the Chicago icebergs as a source of ice they can float down the Mississippi River during hurricane season. "We have it all figured out: what leaves Chicago as multi-ton icebergs, will arrive in the Gulf of Mexico as handy sized ice cubes… and just look at all the fuel we will save!"
But the best example of FEMA's strategic ice planning has to be the hundreds of horse drawn ice wagons that have been slowly working their way across the mountains since this past spring. "The past and future of the ice business has to be with horse drawn equipment. Trucks may break down, but just feed some oats to a team of horses and you've got ice for Hurricane Wilma and whatever else Mother Nature throws against us!"