Post-Katrina changes for FEMA announced

Feb. 13, 2006 at 1:17 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Monday reorganized its emergency response agency, including improvement in delivery of relief material.

The department, in a release, said the fiscal 2007 budget seeks a 10-percent increase in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which came under fire for the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast last year.

Former FEMA leader Michael Brown, who resigned after the relief efforts flagged, testified before a congressional committee last week that Homeland Security policies caused FEMA's problems.

Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part, said it would establish a logistics management system to track relief supplies, upgrade its ability to take calls from affected people and improve debris removal processes.

The department release also said it would establish a "hardened set of communications capabilities to ensure timely and accurate awareness about conditions and events unfolding during a disaster."

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