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Getting FEMA ready already

Trailers set up for those who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

TEXT OF STORYLISA NAPOLI: Hurricane season gets underway in 10 days. From Washington, John Dimsdale says Congress wants to know if first responders are ready.


JOHN DIMSDALE: At a Senate hearing today, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency will assure Congress the government is ready.

After the 9/11 terror attacks, FEMA was folded into the new Department of Homeland Security. After Hurricane Katrina, Congress reorganized the agency again.

Now there is a proposal to return it to an independent cabinet agency. Florida's Emergency Management director, Craig Fugate, says enough with the restructuring already.

CRAIG FUGATE: Quit moving it around. Quit reorganizing it. Quit trying to change the name. And let's start focusing on real issues such as, how do you provide temporary housing for couple hundred thousand families in the immediate aftermath of a major hurricane or an earthquake?

Despite concerns that too much of the National Guard's equipment is deployed overseas, Florida's director says he has more guard members with more equipment this year than he had before the 2004 or 2005 hurricane seasons.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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