Thursday, April 05, 2007

FEMA – New and Old

The New FEMA:
"We're going into the hurricane season as a stronger organization, as a more nimble organization, and as a more forward-leaning organization," David Paulison said at the National Hurricane Conference, vowing that the agency will focus on people instead of bureaucracy.

"We want a FEMA that is much more sensitive, that has a heart," he said.
The Old FEMA:
"Shame on those people if they don't evacuate and put into place plans they have to evacuate. It's bold for someone to go against the mayor and say we need to get out of here. I think the president should have gone on TV and said the same thing," said [Michael] Brown.
The New FEMA:
Paulison, who was confirmed by the Senate last year and did not lead the agency when Katrina struck, said last year's mild hurricane season gave his agency some time to refocus and reorganize. Politics is being taken out of top assignments, he said, as regional directors are hired based on their experience as career staffers.
The Old FEMA:
"People knew what I meant when I wrote those e-mails and I'm not going to take them back. I don't want to," said Brown. "People think I just showed up one day and became FEMA director. I worked my way up."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It simply doesn't matter who is at the helm of FEMA. The Agency continues to be wholly dysfunctional and grossly mis-managed by mid- and low-level bureaucrats whom have repeatedly have demonstrated their individual and collective ineptitude and incompetence.

Despite what the vaunted Director and his minions would lead us to believe, there is absolutely no basis in fact for believing that FEMA's is more capable today of mangaing a disaster than it was during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina. In reality, a look at day-to-day operations indicates that exactly the opposite is true.

FEMA, since taking over the National Preparedness Directorate that it fought so hard to gain control of since it's inception as the Office of Domestic Preparedness under DOJ and later, DHS, has once again demonstrated a propensity for being incapable of managing even the most mundae functions, let alone meeting the challenges that come with managing a large scale disaster. Or, for that matter, even a small one.

Funding for many key programs operated under the auspices of FEMA NPD, all which was allocated when the Federal budget was finally passed earlier this year, continues to languish as the bureaucrats in the contract office move at glacial speed to complete their appointed duties, leaving many State and localk agencies without the means to continue with preparedness efforts or correct shortcomings and fill gaps identifed under earlier iterations of these same programs.

Several of these awarded but as-of-yet unfunded programs have been described at various times by members of the Adminstration, Congress and FEMA's vaunted Diretor and Deputy Director's as "vital", "critical" and "the cornerstone of our nation's preparedness".

There is absolutely no need to wait or the next disaster to determine whether or not FEMA is capable of managing the next Katrina-esque disaster. As is evident today, the Agency is incapable of effectively managing it's day-to-day operations, regardless of whom is at the helm.