WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal government plan for responding to emergencies will not be ready in time for the approaching hurricane season, officials have told Congress.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which bore the brunt of criticism following the 2005 season when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, sent an advisory to Congress last week acknowledging it will not meet its June 1 deadline for issuing a new national response plan.
The advisory said development of the new plan had been delayed by unexpected issues, and more time is needed to resolve them. No new target date was set. In the meantime, a modified version of the plan in place during Katrina will be followed.
"Every post-Katrina report cited the enormous flaws with the current national response plan, yet here we are six weeks until hurricane season and FEMA has once again dropped the ball," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "Failing to have a revised plan in place and relying solely on the previously failed one is irresponsible and unacceptable."
FEMA spokesman Aaron Walker said the advisory was intended to serve as a heads-up to Congress that the plan might be delayed, but said FEMA is "still shooting for a June deadline."
Monday, April 16, 2007
FEMA, the ineffective government branch created by Democrats, still on delay