Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, April 29, 2011

1st test for Obama’s FEMA - 29th Apr 2011

President Obama is scheduled to tour the aftermath of Alabama’s deadly tornadoes today as his administration’s approach to emergency management faces its first major test.

On Thursday, Obama called the storm damage “nothing short of catastrophic” and vowed that “the federal government will do everything we can” to help states recover.

Late Wednesday, the president declared a federal emergency in Alabama and dispatched Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to inspect the damage.

Fugate, a former Florida state emergency management director, said the federal government will take its cues in offering aid from state leaders.

“This is a response being conducted by local responders,” Fugate said, adding that FEMA will maintain “a support role.”

Fugate and his former state emergency colleagues widely panned FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina and other deadly hurricanes in 2005.

When he assumed control of the agency in 2009, Fugate retooled the agency’s response plans, placing more control in the hands of regional administrators, who are expected to keep in close touch with state and local leaders.

That plan earned praise Thursday from Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, who had asked Obama to declare a disaster and was touring damaged areas with Fugate by the afternoon.

“We are very thankful that we have FEMA with us here today,” Bentley told reporters in Tuscaloosa. Read More