Disaster preparedness in the Bush administration...? Sorry... No thanks... Not today...
In the months before Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush sought to cut a key program to help local governments raise their preparedness, and state officials warned of a "total lack of focus" on natural disasters by his homeland-security chief, documents show.
The disclosures add to questions over the administration's emergency-response planning, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's priorities and the way the White House budgets for disaster preparedness after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Organizations representing emergency-response and security officials at state and local agencies had complained of funding shortages and what they saw as an excessive shift by the Homeland Security Department away from preparing for natural disasters, as it focused increasingly on terrorism.
In July, the National Emergency Management Association wrote lawmakers expressing "grave" concern that still-pending changes proposed by Chertoff would undercut the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Our primary concern relates to the total lack of focus on natural-hazards preparedness," David Liebersbach, the association's president, said in the July 27 letter to Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat, the leaders of a key Senate committee overseeing the agency.
He said Chertoff's emphasis on terrorism "indicates that FEMA's long-standing mission of preparedness for all types of disasters has been forgotten at DHS."
well, ain't THAT interesting...! the "emphasis on terrorism" was so strong and so effective that it has produced virtually no tangible results (see previous post)... so, what exactly HAS bushco been doing to prepare for ANYTHING...?? evidently nada, zip, zero, zilch... Submit To Propeller
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