Scot Petersen states in the Sept. 12 "This eWEEK" column that the FEMA response to Katrina was an "abject failure."
Im no fan of the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency division, but I think they are being unfairly blamed for the response to Katrina. From what I understand, many companies in New Orleans carried out their emergency evacuation plans, particularly for IT, with no significant problems.
It is too bad that the city couldnt have done the same. Why didnt [officials] use buses to get people out when a mandatory evacuation was ordered? Why did they block supplies from the Red Cross?
DHS/FEMA isnt necessarily a first responder, but should work with local governments to help them in their first-response capability and to come in for disaster management. This has been done successfully and on an unprecedented scale.