Is FEMA Preparing For a Pandemic?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is looking for contractors to supply 40-yard size dumpsters along with experts who can dispose of contaminated bio-medical waste during a national emergency.
The Request for Information (RFI) appears on the FedBizOpps website and asks for, "feedback from waste removal industry vendors that can potentially provide either dumpster service and/or bio-medical waste collection and removal services during emergency response events within the Continental United States (CONUS) area of responsibility."
FEMA is intending to have one or more contractors provide them with the service as part of an indefinite contract that will initially have a base length of one year with four additional 12 month options.
The RFI states that contractors "must pick up regulated (infectious) waste daily" and an attached question page asks contractors if they can supply dumpsters of different sizes and how quickly they can be supplied.
FEMA will undoubtedly claim that this is merely part of routine preparations for national health emergencies which may or may not happen, although that hasn't stopped some from expressing concerns that the federal agency is gearing up for a major pandemic such as the H7N9 bird flu virus to hit the United States.
One website linked the dumpster order to a previous FEMA solicitation seeking 100,000 "Doctor Scrubs" pants and shirts to be delivered within 48 hours to 1,000 tent hospitals nationwide. Contractors responded to the unusual request by stating that they were unable to fulfil such an "armageddon scenario."
China is currently experiencing a surge in the H7N9 virus which has left dozens of people in critical condition, with several deaths.