FEMA has not earned high marks for its response to the Katrina disaster. A FBvian brings us a story from the front lines:
I ran into several Portland, Oregon, Fire Department rescue workers at Primo’s last night. They said they were deployed right after the hurricane, but that FEMA forced them to go through two days of “how to” seminars in Atlanta, including a lengthy workshop on “diversity.” Then, they couldn’t figure out what to do with them, but gave them each a rederally issued credit card good for 30 days and sent them here to Dallas to “chill.” They said they’d like to get down to New Orleans to participate in the rescue, but that they would have to circumvent FEMA to do so. They also mentioned that a couple of their colleagues who had been sponsored by the Union (i.e., gone in without coordinating with FEMA) were able to get to work immediately, saving lives.