Tags: Disaster Planning | Hurricane Dorian | fema

Ex-FEMA Chief: Agency Not Sole Responder for Disasters

brock long is shown wearing a suit with an american flag on his lapel
Former FEMA Director Brock Long (Patsy Lynch/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 September 2019 11:14 AM

Too much pressure is put on FEMA to be the "911 responder" for all disasters, but the agency is "not large and in charge" of every catastrophic event that happens across the country, former Administrator Brock Long said Tuesday. 

"I think too much pressure is put on FEMA solely to be the 911 responder of all of these disasters," Long told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "A lot of people don't realize that successful disaster response is one that is locally executed, state-managed by the governor and his staff, and federally supported." 

FEMA does play a "very big support role," he added, but the agency doesn't have control over many aspects, such as privately owned infrastructure. 

"We have to make sure that we stop pointing the finger of blame at people and concentrate on working to stabilize the infrastructure, to stabilize the situation, and help people out collectively," said Long. 

Meanwhile, Long said that when it comes to Hurricane Dorian, he does not have confidence in forecast tracking until a storm picks up its forward momentum. The massive storm has remained stalled over the Bahamas for several hours, but Long said it's important for people in Florida and other coastal states to pay attention to the hurricane's track and its winds. 

"Because it is sitting stationary, the duration of winds that are going to be packing water up against the coast for some time to come," said Long. 

Meanwhile, it's not uncommon for first responders and citizens alike to get "mental fatigue" with slow-moving storms like Dorian, and it is "incredibly frustrating" waiting for the storm to move. 

"I think of Hurricane Harvey immediately," Long said. "That one sat on top of Houston, Texas, for five days."

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Too much pressure is put on FEMA to be the "911 responder" for all disasters, but the agency is "not large and in charge" of every catastrophic event that happens across the country, former Administrator Brock Long said Tuesday. 
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2019-14-03
Tuesday, 03 September 2019 11:14 AM
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