If you liked how the Federal Government handled Katrina, you'll love the new disaster management plan being formulated by the White House and Homeland Security. State disaster management leaders are fuming over the secrecy and refusal to incorporate their input into the new strategy for coordinating Federal, state and local resources when disasters strike, which, of course, is more likely today and in the future than it's ever been.
In the Washington Post story, we find that investigators have called for an overhaul of disaster planning in the U.S., and that the Administration has ignored that call.
"In my 19 years in emergency management, I have never experienced a more polarized environment between state and federal government," said Albert Ashwood, Oklahoma's emergency management chief and president of a national association of state emergency managers.At a time - in the hurricane season - when we should be concentrating on coordinated preparedness, we continue to suffer the obstinacy of a President and his cult of loyal followers. Please come soon, January 29, 2009.
Federal officials, Ashwood said, appear to be trying to create a legalistic document to shield themselves from responsibility for future disasters and to shift blame to states. "It seems that the Katrina federal legacy is one of minimizing exposure for the next event and ensuring future focus is centered on state and local preparedness," he said.