• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • DHS IG: Keep FEMA IN

    The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General Richard Skinner published a white paper this week that reiterates the need to keep FEMA in DHS. IG Skinner cites three reasons for keeping FEMA in DHS. First, making serious changes to the “homeland security apparatus” could put the system in haywire—jeopardizing the ability of DHS to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism. Second, a DHS-led FEMA enjoys access to synergies and resources that it did not have when it was a stand alone agency—ensuring better and faster disaster response. And third, keeping FEMA in DHS helps to avoid the stovepipes of authority that made responding to the attacks on 9/11 all the more difficult.

    The report is also honest about DHS mistakes—recognizing that Hurricane Katrina was not a shining moment for DHS. But the IG emphasizes the progress that has been made to fix these problems since Katrina. Heritage Foundation’s Jena McNeill also highlights this progress in her WebMemo, Cabinet Level FEMA Not Needed. She argues DHS took the lessons it learned from Hurricane Katrina and made tremendous progress. Since this time, DHS has been “applauded for its response efforts during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the Midwest Floods, and the California wildfires.” She further describes how reorganization would only add bureaucracy to the response process and increase the difficulty of obtaining the necessary disaster resources in a catastrophe.

    This report is not the first to emphasize why FEMA should stay in DHS. Even members of Congress, including House Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson oppose taking FEMA out. The Bush Administration wants FEMA to stay in. Secretary Napolitano indicated her likely support for a DHS-led FEMA in her confirmation hearing. The message is clear: FEMA is working, and it’s working within DHS.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to DHS IG: Keep FEMA IN

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Why can't we close the book on the Hurricane Katrina chapter. The entire issue was a failure of Local and State Government to do THEIR job and a failure of citizens of the area to heed warnings.

      Simply put, you choose to live below sea level, there is a hurricane coming that will more than likely destroy your safeguards and you are warned that you need to leave (almost a week before landfall). YOU choose to wait for help from the Local and State Government instead of using every means at your disposal to save yourself and your family. Who is the idiot here? Proof again that the Left has brainwashed the People that reliance on the Government is the only way out of anything! So it's all FEMA and President Bush's fault? No, thanks to the Left and the People's weak minds, these people even lost the instinct to survive.

    2. John Galt says:

      I say take FEMA out of the governemnt and allow individuals in communities to come together in times of need to help themselves…

      Oh well….Shrugg

      -Atlas

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×