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In New York, FEMA granted the Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club's request to be remapped from the high-risk flood zone in August 2012 - just two months before the club was damaged and its outbuildings destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, which stacked up yachts at its docks like pick-up sticks.
I don't think that any person can fix FEMA. I think FEMA needs a total restructuring. I think it needs to be taken from scratch and redone. The regulations are outdated; the rules are outdated.
If a hurricane strikes, we can blame the president for not being there; we can blame Congress and FEMA; we can blame the state governments; but in the end, it's the mayors and the local city governments that have to be prepared for emergencies and be prepared to act.
NBC News found that FEMA has redrawn maps even for properties that have repeatedly filed claims for flood losses from previous storms. At least some of the properties are on the secret 'repetitive loss list' that FEMA sends to communities to alert them to problem properties.
Part of the redesign of FEMA is that they have so many people on standby, whether it is a retired nurse or a doctor who will take time off to go exactly where they are needed.
I can recall back in 1998, in August of that year, when we had a horrible disaster along the Mexican border in the town of Del Rio. At the time, FEMA was the shining star of the federal government. It's now perceived as many to be the dullest knife in the drawer. Right or wrong, that's the perception.
The other thing about FEMA, my understanding is that it was supposed to move into the Department of Homeland Security... and be what it was, but also having a lot of lateral communication with all those others involved in that issue of homeland security.
FEMA says that it does not factor in previous losses into its decisions on applications to redraw the flood zones.
In more than 500 instances, from the Gulf of Alaska to Bar Harbor, Maine, FEMA has remapped waterfront properties from the highest-risk flood zone, saving the owners as much as 97 percent on the premiums they pay into the financially strained National Flood Insurance Program.
Over half a billion dollars a day is being spent by FEMA.
I have noticed a marked improvement in FEMA and with the coordination of FEMA and the State agencies.
I talked to General Downer about some of the funding about the National Guard and some of the civil defense workers, the firefighters, the police officers, and the way that FEMA is making them spend that money. We have got a problem there.
Our volunteer fire departments know their needs better than Washington, D.C. They need more flexibility on spending grant money from FEMA and Homeland Security.
I'll just tell you, I'm not a big FEMA fan.
You know, one of the perceptions, again, about FEMA is that there's been a demise in the organization since it became the - under - it started to become part of the Department of Homeland Security.
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