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Chertoff Unveils FEMA Changes on Eve of Hearing

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Chertoff Unveils FEMA Changes on Eve of Hearing

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Chertoff Unveils FEMA Changes on Eve of Hearing

Chertoff Unveils FEMA Changes on Eve of Hearing

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5204372/5204373" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff speaks to state emergency management representatives in Alexandria, Va., Feb. 13. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Embattled Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announces changes in the way the Federal Emergency Management Agency deals with major disasters. New measures include a full-time response force and an improved tracking system for supplies.

Chertoff also rejected criticism that his department prioritizes dealing with terrorist threats over natural disasters, while accepting responsibility for the failures during the response effort to Hurricane Katrina.

Chertoff is due to face lawmakers Tuesday as a House committee prepares to officially release a scathing report into the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. The report targets Chertoff for much criticism.