The recent spate of natural disasters hitting the U.S. has left staff of the Federal Emergency Management Agency “tapped out” and the agency in an existential reckoning, FEMA‘s chief told a congressional panel.
“It is time to question what is FEMA’s role in disaster management and emergency recovery,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long told a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday. “Let’s hit the reset button. FEMA was never designed to be first or only respondent in a disaster, but we often find ourselves in that situation.”
Following four major natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and deadly wildfires in California, Long said his staff was in the midst of the longest activation in the agency’s history and is now “tapped out.”
“The nation needs to stop and take a deep breath and figure out how we can become more resilient,” Long said. “I’m ready to change the face of emergency management and how we tackle resiliency.”