FEMA’s Post-Brown Efficiency Melts Away


When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and the levees broke in New Orleans, people in Louisiana and Mississippi desperately needed ice to prevent spoliage of tons of food. But despite urgent pleas for ice, none came. You may recall that several trucks filled with ice sat in another state for days–just sat there. Finally, when the ice did arrive, there was way too much of it.

FEMA’s own regulations clearly state that unused ice must be disposed of after three months, but FEMA ignored its own rules and put the ice in storage in various parts of the country. Now, after two years, the agency has realized that the ice may be contaminated, and is dumping it. But only after taxpayers–you and I–paid $12.5 million to store it.

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