Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More on the "Post-Katrina Act" of 2006

Subtitle B of the Act is about personnel. The most significant provisions call for the creation of a Surge Capacity Force to deal with emergencies, and for Emergency Support teams.

Subtitle C calls for the creation of a National Preparedness System. Under section 645, FEMA is called upon to develop planning scenarios, while sec. 646 requires "guidelines to define risk-based target capabilities for preparedness . . . . against [all hazards]." FEMA must report to Congress annually on governmental resources "necessary to respond to a catastrophic incident." (This is one of those reporting provisions that the President objected to in the signing statement, since the statute doesn't appear to contemplate having the White House oversee the report.) Section 653 mandates that the President ensure that all federal agencies have the operational capability to meet the national preparedness goal and have operational plans in place.

Subtitle D is about emergency communications, a vexing problems during Katrina as well as 9/11. Since I'm not a telecom person, I won't hazard an opinion about this part of the statute. (Jim?)

Subtitle E is about Stafford Act amendments. I'll discuss those next time.


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