The FEMA cure
FEMA has come under sharp criticism from senators who say the nation's emergency response agency should be scrapped. But replaced with what?
Another central-planning bureaucracy that cuts relief checks first and asks questions later?
Clearly the ravages of Hurricane Katrina revealed a federal agency adrift in a storm. And the buffets keep coming:
What FEMA's performance reveals is the folly of over-centralization. Yet a Senate report on the aftermath of Katrina urges replacing the agency with a stronger authority that centralizes preparedness and response activities under a single agency. That's not a solution.
Disaster planning and post-disaster assessment begin at the state and local level -- which is where New Orleans failed miserably. The Senate's own report revealed as much.
What's lacking at the federal level has been the preparedness in a national disaster to act immediately and efficiently .
America doesn't need a more authoritative federal disaster agency -- just one better prepared to respond to disasters.