Posts Tagged ‘Response and Communications Subcommittee’

A Call for Changes at FEMA

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

New model FEMA units in Louisiana. Credit: Yahoo.

Testimony by former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate this week to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee, included some very stern words about the current state of the organization. That included the call for experienced leadership.

FEMA is not the place for on-the-job-training,” said Fugate.

A new administrator should understand that FEMA’s response to disasters and crisis situations isn’t about putting FEMA in charge. Rather, it’s about the agency stepping up to help local, state and tribal governments, as well as other federal agencies in those situations,” said Fugate.


Craig Fugate. Credit: FCW.

According to FCW, Fugate had been the FEMA administrator since 2009, but quietly stepped down in January as the Trump administration took office.

While at FEMA, Fugate worked on multiple fronts to speed and improve the agency’s response capabilities, including better harnessing digital media, including smart phone apps that let citizens report problems using photos and GPS coordinates for trouble spots in disaster areas.

The position remains officially vacant, with Robert Fenton Jr., the agency’s administrator for Region IX, in place as acting administrator.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Fenton was asked by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) for answers after discovering a slew of problems with FEMA’s use of post-disaster temporary housing in Louisiana, including the death of 84-year-old Baton Rouge resident Everett Wilson in his temporary FEMA home on October 25th from overheating.


A family looks at the remains of their home after the Louisiana floods. Credit: NOLA.

House lawmakers were in agreement with Fugate, noting that the agency needs a seasoned emergency responder to fill the leadership position and to continue its forward momentum.

We need an experienced manger to lead FEMA,” said subcommittee Chairman Dan Donovan (R- NY).

Ranking member Donald Payne (D-NJ) also commented.

The new administration must be engaged with FEMA as threats grow and evolve,” said Payne.

FEMA’s development and work has become increasingly effective post-Hurricane Katrina,” he said. “A pause in naming a new administrator could slow that momentum.

Fugate also said that the next FEMA leader has to be a person of action, not one that waits for information to trickle in during a crisis.

FEMA can’t be an organization that can’t take risks,said Fugate.

Action is a strength that sometimes produces mistakes.”

For more on FEMA, including in-depth coverage of the agency’s response to the Louisiana floods, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.