The pervasive disasters being revealed by Hurricane Katrina are perfect examples of what can happen when someone — in this case, President Bush and his administration — decides to fix something that is not broken.
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency was an independent cabinet-level agency, it was an efficient and effective operation. Well-trained and competent people had a network of communications, a network of responders and a protocol for who was in charge when and where. FEMA was a system that worked.
After Sept. 11, Mr. Bush demoted FEMA, put it under Homeland Security, and changed FEMA’s focus from natural disasters to terrorism.
FEMA was not broken, but it sure got fixed.
— Pat Tillemans, Ph.D., Oxnard