Senate report on Katrina released
| 04.27.2006 | 07:30:02 | Views: 3620 | ID:
April 27 '06: The Senate released a report Thursday on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response during Hurricane Katrina, CNN reported. In the report, lawmakers said the agency needs to be dismantled and reassembled and that the Department of Homeland Security should "create a National Preparedness and Response Authority within DHS to fuse the department's emergency management, preparedness and critical infrastructure assets 'into a powerful new organization that can confront the challenges of natural and manmade catastrophes,'" the cable news channel reported.
Those recommendations come eight months after the storm hit, while sixty percent of New Orleans residents still have not returned to the city.In addition to the preparedness and response authority, the Washington Post reported that an additional 85 recommendations were given "that would undo major changes made when President Bush and Congress launched the department in 2003, and would reverse parts of a reorganization ordered by Secretary Michael Chertoff last summer." The Associated Press reported that the preparedness authority would "communicate directly with the president during major crises, and any dramatic cuts to budget or staffing levels would have to be approved by Congress." In addition to improvements for lines of communication among federal authorities, the new directorate would dispatch "strike teams" - regional offices currently run by FEMA which would "be made up of disaster experts from the new national preparedness agency," the New York Times reported. Officials from the Defense Department and other federal agencies would "train together with local and state governments to prepare for a possible natural disaster or terrorist strike." CNN concluded that the report, titled "Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared," recommends "improving coordination and communications abilities to fixing training, streamlining requests for assistance, and better delineating the responsibilities of various organizations."
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