September 27, 2005

Michael Brown appeared before a

Michael Brown appeared before a congressional committee to defend his credentials and response to Katrina. The hearing, at times, got very heated as congressmen gave Brown all he could stand. Several times he lashed out in response, which is natural after unfairly becoming the scapegoat of the Katrina disaster. He cited the fact that he has overseen and helped coordinate disaster response efforts to over 150 disasters, debunking the myth that seemed to spread that he was unqualified. He also noted that evacuating people is not FEMA's job and how he has taken the fall for the incompetencies of Nagin and Blanco. I felt from the beginning that he was the target of unfair criticism and that Nagin and Blanco got a pass on this one. I'd like to take a moment and quote from the FEMA official site on what they actually do:
Advising on building codes and flood plain management...teaching people how to get through a disaster...helping equip local and state emergency preparedness...coordinating the federal response to a disaster...making disaster assistance available to states, communities, businesses and emergency managers...supporting the nation's fire service...administering the national flood and crime insurance programs...the range of FEMA's activities is broad indeed. One way to look at what FEMA does is to think about the life cycle of disasters. Some of the functions involved are shown below. The disaster life cycle describes the process through which emergency managers prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond to them when they occur, help people and institutions recover from them, mitigate their effects, reduce the risk of loss, and prevent disasters such as fires from occurring.
Seems to me that based on this, Brown is right. He did as much as possible from his vantage point. He noted that he wasn't a "dictator" and couldn't force the local governments there to do anything. I don't think FEMA was prepared to handle cleaning up after a sloppy local evacuation plan and that Michael Brown has taken the fall for their stupidity. So what did "bazooka" Nagin have to say about this? According to the above CNN article:
"I don't know what he's referring to," Nagin said, adding that "obviously, Mr. Brown is maybe under a lot of pressure. I feel sorry for him."
But then this really a surprise?
Posted by everyman at September 27, 2005 07:10 PM | TrackBack
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