‘Just Start Hitting Stuff With A Hammer And Throwing Cardboard Boxes Into The Water, Whatever,’ Say Agency Officials

CHARLOTTE, NC—Citing the urgent need for such measures given the devastation wrought by Hurricane Florence, the Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched crews to affected areas Wednesday with instructions to do everything necessary to appear busy. “Try hitting stuff with a hammer, throwing a few cardboard boxes into a river, or whatever—just make it look like you’re doing something,” FEMA representative Travis Quinn said in a recent directive to agency workers, adding that their top priority was to act as though they were getting the job done, whether that meant randomly throwing sandbags around, swinging axes into the sides of buildings, or hosing down all the cars. “Grab a megaphone and shout something—anything—into it. You could even just do a few laps around a flooded neighborhood in a motorboat as long as you keep a sort of worried expression on your face, the way you would if you were doing something important like searching for a missing person. If you’re really desperate, have one of your fellow crew members jump into the floodwaters so you can pretend to pull them out. Whatever it takes.” At press time, reports confirmed Quinn had followed up with a new directive saying no one appeared to be watching, so the crews were free to call it day and return home.

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