Ike, Gustav Hearing Highlights FEMA Improvements

Ike, Gustav Hearing Highlights FEMA Improvements PDF Print E-mail
by Chris Bedford   
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Agency praised for better responsiveness, but bureaucratic red tape still a problem.The federal government’s response to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav shows a dramatic improvement over its handling of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but there is still much room for improvement, according to officials and representatives from all levels of the government, who attended Tuesday’s hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery.

Media coverage of the hurricanes did not last after they failed to cause the massive death toll that Katrina and Rita had in 2005, and so their effects on the states of Texas and Louisiana, according to senators representing both states, have gone largely unnoticed in the rest of the country.

“It seems as though the second these storms did not result in catastrophic death tolls, although hundreds of people lost their lives,” subcommittee chair Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said in her opening statement, “the national cameras went off and there is a sense outside the Gulf Coast and particularly here in Washington that things went pretty well.”


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