• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Senate Panel Says FEMA Is Beyond Repair

Apr 27, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Senators are calling for the creation of a new disaster relief agency because the last hurricane season proved that the current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is incompetent and beyond repair.

An Associated Press story on Yahoo News reports that replacing the agency is the top recommendation of a Senate inquiry. It concluded that officials from New Orleans to Washington did not adequately prepare for and respond to Hurricane Katrina.

“The first obligation of government is to protect our people,” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said. “In Katrina, we failed at all levels of government to meet that fundamental obligation.”

The inquiry’s final report stated that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco failed to protect sick and elderly people, as well as others who could not evacuate on their own. The report also concluded that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and then-FEMA head Michael Brown either did not understand federal response plans or refused to follow them.

The AP reports that the inquiry’s recommendations conclude that FEMA is crippled beyond repair by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding, and called for a new agency—the National Preparedness and Response Authority.

For more on business continuity and disaster recovery, read The ABCs of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning and Thad Allen on the Katrina Cleanup.

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By Paul Kerstein