Ex-FEMA Director Tries to Spin the Agency's Role

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ex-FEMA Director Tries to Spin the Agency's Role

The New York Times reports on former FEMA Director Michael Brown's appearance before a congressional panel today:
... Brown told Congress on Tuesday he made ''specific mistakes'' in leading the initial federal government response to Hurricane Katrina. But Brown also blamed state and local officials for government failures.

... He suggested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had gotten a bum rap because many people incorrectly believe it serves as something of a federal rapid-response force.
Don't worry, Mr. Brown. Recent events have shattered any lingering belief by the public that FEMA plays a "rapid-response" role.

I can't imagine where the media and the American people would have gotten the impression that FEMA played a rapid-response role. Unless, umm ..... maybe it was from this FEMA update, released last September:
FEMA Prepares for Hurricane Frances
FEMA Region 4 Operations Center (ROC) has been activated and will assume management of the Federal response and recovery activities in Florida effective 8:00 a.m. today. The Emergency Response Team National (ERT-N)-RED is on alert ... One Emergency Response Team-Advance (ERT-A) has deployed to Tallahassee ... Three Rapid Needs Assessment Teams have deployed to Orlando ... Ten Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers are staged in Florida for a rapid response.
Or perhaps it was from this FEMA news release in July about Hurricane Dennis:
Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) hasten to the scene, providing a rapid-response element to supplement local health care.
Or maybe it was from this FEMA report:
More than ten rapid response teams and two Mitigation Assessment Teams were deployed (in Florida last year) to document observations and recommendations (about hurricane relief efforts).

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