Chertoff Unveils FEMA Changes on Eve of Hearing

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff speaks to state emergency management representatives

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff speaks to state emergency management representatives in Alexandria, Va., Feb. 13. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption 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.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.