Brown Steps In It
Probably the only thing worse that FEMA chief Mike Brown's post-Katrina bumbling is Mike Brown's pre-Katrina bumbling. A memo sent by Brown to Michael Chertoff reveals that the man in charge of disaster preparation for the nation waited five hours after Katrina hit landfall before requesting DHS assistance, and then he was pretty leisurely about it; the New York Post says "he proposed sending 1,000 Homeland Security workers within 48 hours and then another 2,000 within seven days." Also, he "urged local fire and rescue departments outside Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for help from state or local governments." That would be the state and local governments who had no phones and whatnot. He also suggested that the relief efforts might help "Convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizations and the general public." Oops.
Brown finished the letter noting that he wasn't that worried about Louisiana's major metropolitan area because "hey, they rebuilt Old Orleans."