FEMA Needs Independence

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has become a disgrace since it was merged into the Department of Homeland Security following the 2001 terrorist attacks, former FEMA chief James Lee Witt says.

Witt, who led the agency under President Clinton, said FEMA needs to be on its own again so it can focus on preparing for and preventing catastrophic natural disasters.

“The worst thing about this … is the fact that the focus since 9-11 has been on terrorists,” Witt told students Thursday at the University of Central Arkansas. “That’s minimized and demoralized emergency management. We’re less prepared today than ever.”

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