Lack of experience from disaster response managers is being cited as one of the primary failures in Katrina reactions, according to a lengthy report by Frances Fragos Townsend, homeland security advisor for the White House.
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An Associated Press article posted on CNN states,
Townsend’s review cites failures at a half-dozen federal agencies, and singles out Homeland Security in particular for lacking fast communication with emergency responders and the public, and an inadequate system for stockpiling supplies before a disaster hits.
The White House review comes a week after a special House committee issued its own findings that faulted every level of government for the slow response. The scathing House report, written by Republicans, found that earlier involvement by President Bush would have speeded up the federal response.
The White House report also found “significant flaws” in the national response plan the Department of Homeland Security issued last year that serves as a blueprint for action the government is supposed to follow during emergencies.
The New York Times (registration required) has a good piece on recommendations to reconfigure responsibilities during times of crisis–a major weakness during Katrina response.