7
Sep
2005

Why FEMA was missing in action

Los Angeles Times
by Peter G. Gosselin and Alan C. Miller

09/05/05

While the federal government has spent much of the last quarter-century trimming the safety nets it provides Americans, it has dramatically expanded its promise of protection in one area -- disaster. ... But the government's stumbling response to the storm that devastated the nation's Gulf Coast reveals that the federal agency singularly most responsible for making good on Washington's expanded promise has been hobbled by cutbacks and a bureaucratic downgrading. The Federal Emergency Management Agency once speedily delivered food, water, shelter and medical care to disaster areas, and paid to quickly rebuild damaged roads and schools and get businesses and people back on their feet. ... But in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, FEMA lost its Cabinet-level status as it was folded into the giant new Department of Homeland Security. And in recent years it has suffered budget cuts, the elimination or reduction of key programs and an exodus of experienced staffers... [editor's note: Excuses mostly, but also some explanation? - SAT]

//tinyurl.com/7oqhg


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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