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Tom Allen  - Five years ago, FEMA was widely recognized as one of the most efficient and effective agencies in government, ... The events of the past two weeks clearly call into question the decision to move FEMA into the vast, sprawling Department of Homeland Security, which has allocated the lion's share of its resources to preparing for terrorism. Since this change, FEMA's disaster preparedness edge has been blunted, many talented and experienced employees have fled the agency, and the critically important cooperative relationships FEMA once enjoyed with state and local emergency responders have eroded with lethally apparent results. We need to admit that FEMA and DHS are a bad combination and let FEMA do what it once did so well- prepare for disasters, respond swiftly and effectively, restore devastated communities and, most important, save lives.

Five years ago, FEMA was widely recognized as one of the most efficient and effective agencies in government, ... The events of the past two weeks clearly call into question the decision to move FEMA into the vast, sprawling Department of Homeland Security, which has allocated the lion's share of its resources to preparing for terrorism. Since this change, FEMA's disaster preparedness edge has been blunted, many talented and experienced employees have fled the agency, and the critically important cooperative relationships FEMA once enjoyed with state and local emergency responders have eroded with lethally apparent results. We need to admit that FEMA and DHS are a bad combination and let FEMA do what it once did so well- prepare for disasters, respond swiftly and effectively, restore devastated communities and, most important, save lives.

Tom Allen
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