Post-Katrina Analysis Shows Persistent FEMA Flaws

Published April 03, 2006

| Associated Press

An internal FEMA review of its flawed response to Hurricane Katrina identifies many of the same failures and fixes that the disaster response agency pledged to reform a year ago, documents show.

Similarities between a March 7, 2005, consultant's report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and an internal Feb. 13, 2006, analysis raise concerns that few of the lessons learned from Katrina will be heeded.

Both reports concluded the agency:

—Lacked clear leadership between FEMA headquarters and the disaster sites.

—Operated under outdated or inadequate response plans.

—Needed better-trained or more experienced employees.

—Was unable to get a clear picture of emergencies as they as unfolded.

The newest report surfaced as a Senate inquiry wraps up its investigations of the sluggish response to Katrina.

The Senate findings — which have been delayed as investigators conclude their recommendations — will follow separate reports by the House and the White House that both show that FEMA had failed to learn from earlier disasters.

The Associated Press obtained the 2005 report, by the Mitre Corp., which assessed the agency's performance during the 2004 Florida hurricanes. The second report by FEMA, looking at the Katrina disaster, was little noticed when posted on the agency's Web site earlier this year. The agency pulled it from the site after a reporter inquired about it last month.

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