Or terribly confused as is the order with FEMA. Now FEMA officials say it was all a misunderstanding that they were leaving New Orleans. A FEMA official was grilled Wednesday at a NOLA City Council meeting. From the Times Picayune article “Council Bares Fangs at FEMA Official”….
In one area an accord was reached. Citing reports that FEMA was closing its long-range planning office in New Orleans because neither the city nor the state could create a timely recovery plan, council members lacerated the agency for deserting desperate citizens and taxpayers. Misczak said that was not the case and that perhaps confusion arose over location, not intent. In fact, he said, FEMA is not shuttering its New Orleans operation, but is simply moving a small piece of it under another roof.
That view was echoed later in the day by Gil Jamieson, FEMA’s deputy director for Gulf Coast recovery. Jamieson said the long-range planners are shifting to Algiers, a move that should cut FEMA’s costs and improve communication while still leaving a core group of planners nearby when precise recovery blueprints are drafted. (my emphasis)
“Reports our office in New Orleans are closing are inaccurate,” Jamieson said.
I hope that includes improved MEDIA communications.
The article also included these statements from Council President Oliver Thomas who was late in arriving due to attending a funeral but got caught up to speed with this….
“You’re with, what, FEMA?” he said, dripping contempt. Waving a funeral program, Thomas essentially said Misczak and other federal relief agencies lacked concern for New Orleans and its dying residents.
“We’re not even surviving anymore, we’re dying,” he said.
And later this from Thomas….
When Misczak answered a question with another about strategy or specifics, Thomas waved him off.
“I can’t ask you about strategy because there is none,” he said.