FEMA Chief Pleased with Wildfire Response

FEMA Chief Pleased with Wildfire Response

 25 October 2007

published by  www.npr.org

USA — The Santa Ana winds have died down in SouthernCalifornia, but wildfires still rage out of control.

David Paulison, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has beensurveying the damage and emergency response to the wildfires before meetingPresident Bush for his tour of the region.

Paulison says he would talk to the president about the differences inemergency response since Hurricane Katrina. The planning done since the storm,which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, has resulted in a much moreorganizes and prepared response.

Unlike in 2005, Paulison says, local communities did not have to wait untilthey were overwhelmed before the state to step in, and the federal governmentdid not wait until the state was overwhelmed before it stepped in.

This time, the governments went in as partners, he says.

Still, Paulison says he expects there will be lessons to learn from theCalifornia wildfires, but he is extremely pleased with how the relief effort isgoing.

Paulison talks to Alex Chadwick about the situation on his way to meetPresident Bush at the airport in San Diego.

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