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FEMA promises strong Texas response

Sept. 21, 2005 at 10:03 AM

HOUSTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency, blistered by critics for its slow response to Hurricane Katrina, pledged quick help as Hurricane Rita neared Texas.

"There have been lessons learned from Katrina, and we will apply all our best practices," FEMA's Denise Worhach said in Austin, Texas.

Worhach told the Houston Chronicle that FEMA was working with Texas officials to ready a "robust and well-coordinated plan" to deal with Hurricane Rita.

FEMA employees working with Katrina evacuees in Houston and elsewhere in Texas faced double duty in responding to Rita, Worhach said.

The promise was an eerie echo of one made by ex-FEMA Director Michael Brown, who pledged aid would move into areas hit by Katrina "as soon as it is safe to do so," the newspaper reported.

Brown resigned amid a barrage of criticism for FEMA's slow response to Katrina.

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